SCoA members will be aware of recent developments in relation to the review of JobActive and the appointment of an Expert Panel to undertake this crucial work. SCoA has already been actively engaged with this process, attending a community sector roundtable hosted by the Expert Panel in May 2018, and providing advocacy on the importance of employment, and targeted employment services, in achieving settlement outcomes for new arrivals in Australia.
We have received great input from our members across the country about the need for better alignment between employment and settlement services and, over recent years, have developed a plan of advocacy focusing on the foundations required for achieving economic engagement of migrants, and especially those from a refugee background. There is an increasing body of research highlighting the contributions that migrants make to the Australian economy, and also discussing the barriers and limitations that may impede that contribution. SCoA’s policy hub contains a growing collection of interesting research which you can view here.
Through the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Expert Panel has now opened consultations on the future employment services model to start when the current jobactive contract arrangements finish in mid-2020. SCoA has been advised that, at this stage, no proposal is “off the table” and that the Expert Panel is open to considering any and all suggestions that may improve employment outcomes in Australia generally.
This provides a great opportunity to the settlement sector to engage with this process and ensure that employment outcomes for migrants and refugees, and the services required to meet the needs of these cohorts, are given ample consideration. Members of the public and interested organisations were invited to make a submission to the Expert Panel and SCoA made a submission on behalf of the sector, as well as participating in an upcoming workshop hosted by the Department of Jobs to provide direct input into this process.
In order to inform SCoA’s advocacy on behalf of the sector, we held a nationwide member teleconference on Monday 16 July 2018.
SCoA’s final submission can be accessed below. We welcome any feedback from members and will keep everyone updated on the Expert Panel’s findings.