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"Jobstart" - a Clayton's labour market program



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H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

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P.O. BOX 1206, BOORAQOON. W.A. 61S4 SUITES, GATEWAY MELVILLE CITY CENTRE

BOORAGOON TE L (09) 364 5554

PETER S H A C K . M.P. FEDERAL MEMBER FOR TANGNEY SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, TRAINING AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

M E D I A R E L E A S E

18TH MAY, 1988. 35/88

JOBSTART" - A CLAYTON'S LABOUR MARKET PROGRAM

The Hawke Government's handling of the JOBSTART program reveals its lack of real commitment to helping the longer term unemployed find work, according to Peter Shack, Shadow Minister for Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.

"The way in which the Government has gone about quietly burying JOBSTART is in stark contrast to the fanfare it normally employs when referring to almost anything it does," Mr Shack said.

"While, in theory, the program still exists, CES staff have been told to stop promoting it and are no longer able to issue

'canvassing cards' to job seekers who may be eligible for the wage subsidy.

"As a result, it's probably fair to describe JOBSTART as the labour market program you have when you're not having a labour market program.

"How on earth can long term job seekers improve their employment prospects if they aren't told about the program, and aren't given cards to show employers that their wages may be subsidised?

"And how can employers notifying the CES of a job vacancy ask for the subsidy if they aren't told about the program?

"For those employers and job seekers who are familiar with the way in which JOBSTART used to operate the present situation is very baffling.

"They can't decide whether or not the program has been axed, or simply put into cold storage.

"In 1985 when it was launching JOBSTART to help the long term unemployed, the Government described it as 'Another major initiative in the employment field'.

"Now, in 1988, when the average duration of unemployment has climbed to 45.3 weeks - 12 more than at the time the Hawke

Government came into office - this so called 'major initiative' has been cut off at the knees.

"The surreptitious way in which the Government has altered the JOBSTART program demonstrates yet again that its actions do not match up to all its rhetoric on social justice and concern for the well being of the unemployed."

Further information: Peter Shack / Delys Newman (062) 72 6651.

COMMONW EALTH 1 PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY f C. I. s.

QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE

TO THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

CAN THE MINISTER EXPLAIN WHY COMMONWEALTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

OFFICERS HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED TO DISCONTINUE THE PRACTICE OF

SUPPLYING "CANVASSING CARDS" TO JOB SEEKERS IN THE JOBSTART

PROGRAM'S TARGET GROUPS?

Peter Shack

18th May, 1988

BACKGROUND ON THE JOBSTART PROGRAM.

JOBSTART came into being on 1 January, 1986 as a result of a decision in the 1985/86 Federal Budget to integrate existing wage subsidy programs into a single program.

House of Representatives Hansard, 20 August 1985, page 64. Budget speech. Treasurer, Paul Keating.

"Another major initiative in the employment field will be the introduction of a new, integrated wage subsidy program from the beginning of 1986.

This new program will absorb several existing schemes, including the Special Youth Employment Training Program, the Adult Wage Subsidy Scheme, and other programs which assist disadvantaged job seekers.

We intend that at least 85,000 people will benefit from this program in 1985-86."

1985-86 Budget Paper No.l, pages 258 - 259.

"There is currently a range of wage subsidy programs aimed at improving access to employment for those people facing significant disadvantage in the labour market. These programs are: .

. the Special Youth Employment Training Program (SYETP) for unemployed job seekers aged between 15 and 24 years;

. the Adult Wage Subsidy Scheme (AWSS) for unemployed job seekers aged 25 years and over; and

. two smaller programs for the disabled and those with special needs.

The Kirby Report highlighted the anomalies which exist between these schemes which have varying eligibility conditions, subsidy periods and subsidy rates, and recommended their integration into a single subsidy program, with subsidy levels related to age and period of

unemployment.

Accordingly, from 1 January 1986, the Government will provide a General Wage Subsidy Program with a standard unemployment eligibility criterion of 6 months and a standard subsidy period of 6 months. The eligibility period may be waived in the case of the disabled and those people with special needs. The wage subsidies will be available for full-time and part-time work in excess of 20 hours."

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1987-88 Budget paper No.1, page 242.

"The JOBSTART program is directed to improving the long-term employment prospects of less competitive job seekers by providing wage subsidies to employers for standard periods in respect of job seekers defined from target groups who are recruited through the CES.

Subsidy levels are related to age, period of prior unemployment and degree of job seeker disadvantage."

and later on same page.

"Some 55,000 placements under JOBSTART are expected in 19 87-88 compared with 67,000 placements in 1986-87. "

Social Security Review, Issues Paper, No.4. Income Support for the Unemployed in Australia: Towards a More Active System. Page 179.

"Under both the JOBSTART program, and the Adult Training Program eligibility is restricted to people with at least 6 months unemployment in the last 9 months: but this condition is waived for disadvantaged job seekers (including people with disabilities, migrants with English language difficulties and Aboriginal people)." .

Skills for Australia, circulated by Hon. J.S. Dawkins and Hon. A.C. Holding, AGPS, 1987 . Page 93.

"Continued support for the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged groups will be provided under the general wage subsidy scheme JOBSTART. ...

Its aims are:

. to provide access to employment mainly in the private sector for job seekers who, because of long-term unemployment or other characteristics, are unable to compete on an equal basis in the labour market

. to enhance the employment prospects of job seekers through the provision of employment experiences which will provide, imporve or maintain their job related skills, motivation and confidence, and

. to achieve the provision of equitable assistance to disadvantaged groups having regard to the relative labour market needs of these groups.

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