Time to stop playing games with vulnerable job-seekers

Oct 17, 2018

Anglicare WA has demanded an end to the unemployment blame-game by politicians, saying the growing lack of genuine training and entry-level job creation is preventing disadvantaged and vulnerable job-seekers from accessing meaningful work.

The 2018 Jobs Availability Snapshot figures released today during Anti-Poverty Week by Anglicare WA show that for every entry-level position advertised in Western Australia, at least six people are competing for that one job.

At a national level at least four low-skilled job seekers are vying for the one position, while the only States with worse entry-level job availability than WA are Tasmania and South Australia.

The snapshot, taken each May, revealed on a national level more than 700,000 people were unemployed, and of those 110,000 were only qualified for low-skilled positions such as cleaning and laundry services, labouring, clerical and office support and food preparation.

Anglicare WA Services Director Mark Glasson said it is time to stop treating our most vulnerable job-seekers as a political football.

“Instead of rehashing the same tried-and-failed policies such as welfare crackdowns and ‘mutual obligation’, our politicians need to shift their focus to boosting entry-level job creation and tailoring employment assistance rather than persisting with a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Mr Glasson.

“The current approach to addressing entrenched unemployment amongst low-skilled Australians is simply not working.

“The number of low-skilled, entry-level jobs is diminishing so there aren’t enough to meet demand. This in turn is resulting in long-term unemployment amongst this vulnerable group.”

Mr Glasson said meaningful change will require compassion, creativity and courage.

“By working in partnership with job-seekers, taking into account their individual situation, strengths and goals, it means we connect people with the right training programs and work opportunities. It also means supporting them to stay in work.

“Currently, the Jobactive Network is supposed to find work for people struggling with unemployment, yet it’s currently taking up to five years to secure employment for our most disadvantaged. That’s no solution and a new approach is long-overdue.”

Read the Snapshot here.

 [ENDS]

Media contact: Emma-Jane Morcombe, Anglicare WA Media and PR Coordinator,
P: (08) 9263 2039 | M: 0439 272 262 | E: emmajane.morcombe@anglicarewa.org.au

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