National Conference on Long Term Unemployment

BUSY At Work Top Shortlist for National Youth Employment Award

Long Term Unemployment Awards Night

BUSY At Work Southport, Gold Coast today announced it was named the winner of the National Youth Employment Award for its innovative R U BUSY? Program. The Employment Awards were held last night at the Diamond Head Room at QT Hotel, Gold Coast during the Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference.

The Employment Awards aim to recognise, raise awareness and promote the benefits of employing at risk groups including disability, mature age, youth, Indigenous and regional unemployed.

The R U BUSY? program is a 12 week course aimed at youth aged 17-19 who have left school early. The course is taught in a way that identifies and addresses each participant’s needs and best method of learning.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said he was delighted for the program to receive national recognition.

“I’m very honoured for BUSY to receive this award for our R U BUSY? program which has made real and significant differences for many young lives over the past few years. This year alone we have helped 30 young vulnerable people get on track toward gainful employment”.

Participants in the R U BUSY? program can come with a vast range of barriers such as mental health, alcohol and drug issues, homelessness, living in domestic violence situations, generational unemployment and very low language, literature and numeracy skills as well as disabilities.

“The main aim of this program is for the participants to gain employment, and therefore teaches the young people the value of a good work ethic,” Mr Miles said.

The program also trains in assisting the participants in gaining life skills. These include incorporating activities, healthy cooking and sexual health education in the program.

After completing the program these important life skills help the participants make better life choices. This in turn often helps them to get on the road to better living conditions, enabling them to engage in the community in a positive way.

“This is a proud moment for BUSY to reflect about the work we do. Not only do all of our programs aim to improve the lives of Australians through apprenticeships, employment and education, but any profit we make goes back into programs like ‘R U BUSY’ through our Gold Coast and Ipswich Hubs to directly help those who are most vulnerable in the jobs market,” said Mr Miles.

BUSY At Work is a not for profit organisation providing apprenticeship, employment and community programs. With almost 40 years of experience BUSY has established various programs across Australia with offices throughout Queensland, Victoria, Canberra, Newcastle and Perth. R U BUSY? has seen many young people successfully complete the pre-employment course and enter the workforce which has significantly improved their self-esteem and quality of life.

The next R U BUSY? course is scheduled to commence at the Southport Hub on October 7, 2014. For further information about the R U BUSY? course or other programs BUSY At Work provide call 13 28 79.

Image: Accepting the award on behalf of BUSY, Rod McShannon, General Manager Strategic Development, Rebecca Slavin-Molloy R U BUSY? Program Coordinator Richard Spurrel, General Manager Max Employment.

Photography by Willowtree Moments

Planning is underway for the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference to be held in Melbourne. Sign up to the conference blog for regular updates

Needs a better basis of help

WHEN every government decision is marketed as “reform”, it’s hard to distinguish real reform from short-term budget fixes such as depriving young people of unemployment payments for six months, a requirement to search for 40 jobs a month, and payment cuts for low-income families.

These ideas came as a shock to community organisations and affected people and attracted widespread opposition.

In the middle of this, the government’s welfare review panel released a report on, among other things, reform of payments for people of working age. ­Despite the real concerns we have about many of the government’s recent social security policies, the Australian Council of Social Service is participating in the review because it’s an ­opportunity to solve longstanding problems.

This is where the government should have started: with a properly structured social security review that identified the problems to be solved, and worked with the community to find the solutions. That’s how reform is usually achieved…

It’s time for the government to reset its social security policies and reform the safety net instead of shrinking it.

This is an extract of a speech which Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie will deliver today at the Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014 on the Gold Coast.
View the extract on the Australian – here

Unemployment surges to 12-year high in Australia

6.4 per cent –  youth jobless figure hits 14 per cent

Economists had expected an extra 13,000 new jobs in July, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 6 per cent, but total employment fell marginally while the pool of unemployed swelled to almost 790,000 people.

Michael Janda from ABC News has reported that Bureau of Statistics figures show the jobless rate has surged from June’s reading of 6 per cent to 6.4 per cent over last month. This is the worst reading since August 2002.

Young people have been particularly hard-hit, with unemployment for 15-24-year-olds hitting 14.1 per cent – the highest level since October 2001.

The jobless rate for the 15-19-year-old subset jumped even more to 20.4 per cent – the highest since April 1997 – and was 30.1 per cent amongst those looking for full-time work…


Michael has further reported that politicians are playing the ‘blame game’ over the rising jobless total with each side of politics blaming each other for the jobs figures released yesterday.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz admits the 6.4 per cent unemployment figure is a very high rate, and says he does not know when it will fall.

“As to when unemployment figures will turn around will depend on a host of factors, our task as a Government is not to predict the future,” he said.

Queensland, youth hit hardest


  • NSW: Unemployment up from 5.7 to 5.9 per cent; participation steady at 63 per cent.
  • Vic: Unemployment up from 6.6 to 7 per cent; participation up from 64.2 to 64.7 per cent.
  • Qld: Unemployment up from 6.3 to 6.8 per cent; participation down from 66.3 to 66.2 per cent.
  • SA: Unemployment down from 7.3 to 7.2 per cent; participation down from 62.8 to 62.3 per cent.
  • WA: Unemployment up from 5 to 5.2 per cent; participation steady at 68.4 per cent.
  • Tas: Unemployment steady at 7.5 per cent; participation up from 60.9 to 61 per cent.
  • NT: Unemployment up from 4.5 to 4.8 per cent; participation down from 74.8 to 74.4 per cent.
  • ACT: Unemployment up from 3.8 to 3.9 per cent; participation steady at 71.2 per cent.

Source: ABS. All data seasonally adjusted, except Tasmania, NT and ACT which are trend, due to small sample size.
The full story by Michael Janda can be read on ABC News

Join the discussion on Youth Unemployment at the Longterm Unemployment Conference to be held 18-19 August at the QT Gold Coast. It is paramount to Australia’s future to pull in our unemployment rate and reduce the impact on key at-risk groups.

The conference will address further, the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at other high risk groups: Disability, Mature Age,  Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

Skill shortage Australia

Skill Shortages Australia report –  ‘A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market’

This report is part of a suite of research projects entitled ‘A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market’ conducted by a consortium of researchers from the National Institute of Labour Studies and the Centre for Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning. This report aims to clarify the term ‘skill shortage’ and to explain how skill shortages can be resolved naturally by market forces. It also provides some guidance on determining when a skill shortage requires public-policy intervention. Managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), it aims to investigate future work skill needs and work organisation arrangements, and their implications for VET.

Research summary:

  • Skill acquisition and use across the life course:
  • Current trends, future prospects
  • Changing forms of employment and their implications for the development of skills
  • Demographic impacts on the future supply of vocational skills Research report
  • Changing work organisation and skill requirements
  • Social area differences in vocational education and training participation
  • Participation in vocational education and training across Australia
  • A regional analysis
  • Current vocational education and training strategies and responsiveness to emerging skills shortages and surpluses
  •  Matching supply of and demand for skills:
  • International perspectives

Read More Access at

Skill shortages and Job Creation will be discussed at a Long Term Unemployment Conference at the Gold Coast in August.


The Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014 is a national conference focusing on at risk groups for Long-Term Unemployment, being held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.