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Thursday, 25 November 1999
Page: 12781


Mr Latham asked the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, upon notice, on 13 October 1999:

When will he respond to the matters referred to him by the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services in my question No. 821 (Hansard , 22 September 1999, page 7830).


Mr Reith (Workplace Relations and Small Business) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

On 22 September 1999, the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services provided information regarding the assistance provided through the Family and Community Services portfolio and asked me, as the Minister responsible for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, to respond to the parts of the question relating to Job Network.

As a preamble, I must draw a distinction between the employment services offered by Job Network and those offered through specialist employment services funded through the Family and Community Services portfolio. The distinction lies in the level of disadvantage experienced by the job seekers:

. Job Network assists job seekers whose disability has a low to moderate impact on their work capacity, while

. job seekers whose disability has a moderate to severe impact are assisted by specialist employment services funded through the Family and Community Services portfolio.

Disability Support Pension recipients generally have a disability with a more severe impact and most of these people are assisted by the specialist employment services funded through the Family and Community Services portfolio.

Overall, because Disability Support Pension recipients are a minority of all job seekers with a disability, the overwhelming majority of job seekers with a disability who receive employment assistance from the Commonwealth, are assisted by Job Network.

The questions referred to me for response by the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services were questions 1(a), 2(a), 3 and 4(a). I will respond to each in turn.

(1) (a) How many persons with disabilities have received labour market assistance since the Job Network commenced in May 1998, through the Job Network.

(1) (a) As at 31 August 1999 there were 156 876 job seekers with a disability registered with Centrelink as looking for work and accessing various Job Network services.

From 1 May 1998 to 13 August 1999, Job Network provided the following assistance:

. 26,174 job seekers with a disability were placed in a job through Job Matching (Flex 1);

. 5,077 job seekers with a disability commenced with a Job Search Training (Flex 2) provider; and

. 69,141 job seekers with a disability commenced with an Intensive Assistance (Flex 3) provider. 7,657 of these had been placed in a job by the end of the period, with the majority still receiving assistance to prepare for and find a job.

(2) (a) How many persons on a Disability Support Pension (DSP) have received labour market assistance since the Job Network commenced in May 1998, through the Job Network.

(2) (a) From 1 May 1998 to 20 August 1999 there were 2,505 Disability Support Pension recipients who were placed in a job through Flex 1 or commenced in Flex 2 or 3.

(3) How many persons identified in part (2) as being assisted through the Job Network were provided with (a) Flex 1, (b) Flex 2 or (c) Flex 3 assistance.

(3) From 1 May 1998 to 20 August 1999, the 2,505 Disability Support Pension recipients referred to in the response to Question (2)(a) received the following assistance from respective Job Network services:

(a) 1,153 Job Matching (Flex 1) placements in a job;

(b) 35 Job Search Training (Flex 2) commencements; and

(c) 1,681 Intensive Assistance (Flex 3) commencements.

Note: The total of Question 3 (a), (b) and (c) exceeds the number of job seekers in the response to Question 2 (a) because indi vidual job seekers may be included in more than one of the categories in Question 3.

(4) (a) How many persons on a DSP provided with assistance through the Job Network, have achieved some job outcome, either as (i) full-time or (ii) part-time employment.

(4) (a) From 1 May 1998 to 20 August 1999, the following Job Network placements were recorded for Disability Support Pension recipients:

. 1,153 Job Matching (Flex 1) placements in employment, 569 in part-time employment and 584 in full-time employment. This included five placements for Job Search Training (Flex 2) participants, four in full-time employment and one in part time employment;

. 187 Intensive Assistance (Flex 3) outcomes, 35 for part-time employment (more than 15 hours and less than 20 hours per week) and 152 for full-time employment (20 or more hours per week).

In addition, post program monitoring surveys from 1 May 1998 to 30 April 1999 indicate that 3 months after cessation of assistance:

. 20% of Flex 2 Disability Support Pension participants were in employment; and

. 19.4% of Flex 3 Disability Support Pension participants were in employment.