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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 120

Dr Southcott asked the Minister for Employment Participation, in writing, on 13 November 2008:

In respect of the new Universal Employment Services Contract for 2009-12, what is the minimum number of hours of service (for direct one-on-one interviews with the employment services provider) a stream 1 job seeker can expect to undertake.

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

As is currently the case under the Job Network arrangements, the new Employment Services system as described in the Request for Tender for Employment Services 2009-12, does not specify a minimum number of hours of service for direct one-on-one interviews.

Services provided in Stream 1 will be commensurate with the relative job readiness of job seekers eligible for this stream. Post the Initial Interview, Skills Assessment and Intensive Activity (at around 4 months), providers are expected to maintain regular contact with job seekers. Contact is to be at least monthly and must be face to face. These contacts will focus on reviewing and updating the job seeker’s Employment Pathway Plan, discussing job search activities and identifying appropriate job vacancies, as well as, relevant training, work experience or other interventions. The contacts will also review the job seeker’s progress towards overcoming identified vocational barriers. If job seekers do not move into a higher Stream following the 12 month review, they will commence Work Experience activities. During the Work Experience Phase providers will maintain bi-monthly contact and will continue to support job search activities.

In comparison, the current arrangements see job seekers contacted on a sporadic basis post four months. Job seekers participate in Work for the Dole between six and twelve months and have contact with their Job Network member at 7, 10 (and again post Intensive Support customised assistance) at 20 and 22 months and then bimonthly from 32 months.