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Job network - boost for regional Australia

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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Tony Abbott The Hon John Anderson Minister for Employment Services__________ Minister for Transport & Regional Services

16 December 1998 AES/14

Job Network - Boost for Regional Australia

The Minister for Employment Services, Tony Abbott, and the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, have announced further adjustments to the Job Network which will boost the success the new employment services market has already achieved in rural and regional Australia over the past eight months.

Mr Abbott said replacing the 50-year-old CES bureaucratic monolith with a performance- driven network of community and private organisations was one of the Howard Government’s biggest institutional reforms so far.

“Job Network is delivering real outcomes for job seekers and erriployers in regional Australia as well as metropolitan areas,” Mr Abbott said.

“Since its start-up on 1 May, Job Network has substantially outperformed the old CES right across Australia in attracting job vacancies and placing unemployed people into jobs. In November last year the CES placed 15,000 people on benefits into jobs whereas the Job Network placed 23,700 unemployed people into jobs in November 1998,” he said.

Mr Anderson said today’s adjustments would further enhance Job Network’s ability to meet the needs of job seekers and employers in rural and regional Australia.

“The adjustments also deliver extra assistance to regional Job Network members, including a specific payment for placing people in regional areas into jobs,” Mr Anderson said.

“Another very positive aspect of these adjustments is that they will assist Job Network members in rural and regional Australia to provide job seekers and employers with the latest in employment services technology through touchscreen job search facilities,” he said.

Today’s package is the Government’s response to matters raised in consultations with Job Network members across Australia, including key regional areas.

The key initiatives are:

• Improving the income and cash flow of Job Network members through:

- An additional $45 per successful job matching placement in regional areas in recognition of the extra costs involved in servicing these areas;

- Upfront retainers of 30 per cent of expected job matching places for each contract monitoring period;

- Additional payments of $100 per successful job matching placement to ensure the provision of a wider range of services to unemployed people (such as the preparation of resumes); and

- Funding of $25 per successful job matching placement for those Job Network members leasing touchscreen job search facilities.

• Funding of up to $1000 to each job matching site for local marketing activities to increase Job Network members’ reach to employers and unemployed people.

• Operating changes to promote referrals and speedy payments to Job Network members and extending job search training services to women returning to the workforce irrespective of whether they are receiving an unemployment allowance.

• Extending the current contract for Job Network members by three months so that they will now expire in late February 2000. This is to enable the lessons of the current tender to be fully assimilated.

Mr Abbott said the cost of the adjustment package is $47 million in 1998-99 and $58 million in 1999-2000. This money can be found from within the Job Network’s existing budget allocation.

“These adjustments are clear evidence of the Government’s commitment to work constructively with Job Network members to deliver more jobs to the Australians who need them wherever they are located,” he said.

For more information: Simone Holzapfel, Mr Abbott’s Office, 0417 656 668 Paul Chamberlin, Mr Anderson’s Office, 6277 7680