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Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Page: 6262

Mr Abbott asked the Minister for Employment Participation, in writing, on 5 June 2008:

(1)   Will the Government continue running the trial program under which unemployed people attend an interview with a Centrelink officer every two weeks to review their job seeking activity.

(2)   What is the total number of unemployed people who have taken part in this program; and how many of them have found jobs while on this program.

(3)   How does this compare with the success rate of job seekers not on the program.

(4)   Has there been a review of this program; if so, has the program been effective for encouraging people on employment benefits to find work.

Mr Brendan O’Connor (Minister for Employment Participation) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   The Welfare to Work Contact Model, in its trial form, ceased operating from 30 June 2008. Participants in the pilot who wish to continue with increased reporting will be given the option to continue.

(2)   The highest level of participation in the Contact Model was in March 2007 where approximately 95,000 job seekers had been converted from standard reporting to the Contact Model arrangements. Due to a range of factors, including differing target job seeker groups participating in the pilot, employment outcomes varied.

(3)   Please see answer to question (4).

(4)   An evaluation of the Contact Model was completed in late 2007. The evaluation compared the difference between outcomes achieved at Contact Model sites with outcomes from similar Centrelink sites that did not operate the Contact Model. The evaluation identified some outcomes from the engagement of job seekers via the Contact Model; the results of the trial produced mixed outcomes.