The Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services anticipates tabling a final report for its inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services on 30 November 2023.
Committee Chair, Mr Julian Hill MP, said “this is not a fairy floss review. It’s the only ‘first principles’ review of Australia’s employment services system conducted in several decades.
“The Committee has identified significant and numerous flaws in the system that cannot be addressed by mere tweaks to policies and programs if we are serious about addressing long-term unemployment and entrenched disadvantage.
“It should not come as a surprise to those who have contributed to the inquiry that the Committee will recommend wholesale reforms and an ambitious blueprint for a rebuilt Commonwealth Employment Services System.
“There are no sacred cows and the findings will directly challenge long held beliefs, including the flawed ideas that ever more competition in every place will always produce better outcomes for vulnerable consumers.
“The Robodebt Royal Commission’s finding that fraud in the welfare system is minuscule is apt and the current approach to mutual obligations is like using a nuclear bomb to kill a mosquito. Mutual obligations need to be broadened and tailored to the individual, as the current one-size-fits all approach is drowning the system in compliance red-tape, driving employers away and actually making many people less employable.
“The guiding vision for a rebuilt system should be to ensure that all people in Australia can enjoy decent employment and participate in economic and social life regardless of who they are or where they live.
“All elements of the system have been carefully interrogated in an open-minded and non-partisan manner, led by evidence not ideology, outside interests or direction.”
The inquiry has been informed by over 300 submissions, more than 60 hours of witness testimony, over 50 meetings and site visits across all Australian jurisdictions, and direct engagement with OECD experts and representatives of over 10 other countries.
Information about the inquiry, including Terms of Reference, published submissions and hearing transcripts, is available on the inquiry website.
Mr Julian Hill MP, Chair: Julian.Hill.MP@aph.gov.au or via Laura Hooper 0422 85 11 27
For background information
Committee Secretariat: (02) 6277 2220 firstname.lastname@example.org