The Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) is grateful for the opportunity to make a submission to the House Select Committee Inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services. SCOA represents settlement agencies across Australia for people of refugee and migrant background, many of which provide employment support and services.
Over the years, SCOA has published extensively on employment and employment services, appeared before Senate Inquiries into jobactive, and advocated for a more comprehensive approach that focuses on a job seeker’s strengths, and the necessary steps to attain employment readiness as opposed to a strict, compliance-focused model.
SCOA’s main recommendations in this submission include:
- Employment support should be customised to a person’s educational and employment journey, without a ‘work-first’ approach.
- The government should open a new tender round enabling settlement agencies to tender and adequately recognise and value their specialist expertise.
- More ‘CALD’ and ‘Refugee’ licenses should be issued in areas that have high caseloads of those cohorts.