New Employment Services Model

The New Employment Services Model will reform employment services for job seekers, employers and providers. It will replace the jobactive program from 2022. Trials of the new model commenced in July 2019.

Job Seekers

For job seekers, the new model will provide:

  • a digital platform and online support to help you find a job.
  • individual case management support delivered by providers for those who need extra support.
  • strong links to training and skills.
  • a new Points Based Activation System that promotes personal responsibility whilst maintaining strong Mutual Obligation requirements.
  • safeguards and extra supports 
  • wage subsidies and an Employment Fund targeted to the most disadvantaged. 

Digital Services

Job-ready job seekers will be able to self-manage through Digital Services, providing access to:

  • a high quality, personalised digital platform.
  • a range of tools, online learning and job matching.
  • the Digital Services Contact Centre (DSCC) via phone or email.

Eligible job seekers in Digital Services will have access to additional support including individual career coaching, a Digital Employment Fund, Employability Skills Training and personalised support from the DSCC.

Enhanced Services

Job seekers who need extra support will receive intensive case management through an employment services provider to prepare and support them into work.

Enhanced Services will provide:

  • high quality individualised service
  • a focus on early intervention 
  • access to the online resources available in Digital Services and additional services to help address a job seeker’s barriers to work including: 
    • career guidance
    • mentoring and
    • vocational training
    • larger and more flexible Employment Fund.
    • work experience, job placements and post-placement support
    • strengthened Work for the Dole program to recognise skills and micro-credentials alongside gaining work-like experiences.

Mutual obligations

The new model retains strong mutual obligations:

  • Points-Based Activation System will give job seekers greater personal responsibility and flexibility in managing their mutual obligation.
  • job seekers will have to meet a certain number of points per reporting period but will have more options and choice in how to meet their obligations.
  • the Targeted Compliance Framework will remain in place.
male standing holding laptop


In the new model, providers will be focused on job seekers requiring greater levels of support to find employment.

Employment Services Providers will deliver Enhanced Services through a contractual licence. Some regions will have specialist licences available to support job seekers from key cohorts. The number of licences in each region will be limited to ensure provider viability to deliver high quality services.

A national panel of suitable organisations will be established, with some panel members being issued a licence to deliver services for an initial three years and their performance will be regularly reviewed. 

A new Provider Performance Framework will be introduced to ensure employers and job seekers receive a quality service that meets their needs. 

High performing providers will receive early and regular licence extensions. Poor performers will not have their licences renewed. They will exit the market, providing a strong incentive to achieve high performance. When licences become available, organisations on the panel will be selected to fill them.

A new payment structure will support providers to deliver more intensive services for job seekers who need the most assistance. It will include:

  • Up-front engagement payments to support early investment in job seekers.
  • Outcome payments to reward moving job seekers into employment.
  • Progress payments to recognise the completion of milestones towards employment.
  • A very long-term unemployment bonus to encourage finding employment for the most disadvantaged job seekers.

This payment structure was introduced and tested in the New Employment Services Trial.

group of people at a table with laptops


The new model will provide a better service to employers through:

  • improved applicant matching through the digital platform
  • tailored servicing and post placement support from providers
  • targeted wage subsidies through Enhanced Services
  • departmental assistance and support packages for targeted industries
  • delivery of specific tailored projects by workforce specialists.
chef standing next to oven

Budget updates

2020-21 Budget measures

For more information on the funding allocated to employment services, see the 2020-21 Budget measures.

Supporting Youth in the New Employment Service Model

Additional investment is being made to expand and strengthen the successful youth employment service, Transition to Work (TtW). From 1 July 2022, TtW will be the dedicated youth employment service in the New Employment Services Model. This will ensure more young people  (aged 15-24) have access to specialist youth employment services and have the best opportunity to become work ready and secure employment.  

Current TtW contracts expire 30 June 2022. An open procurement will be undertaken in late 2021 to contract TtW providers for a period of five years, commencing from 1 July 2022. A consultation paper will be released prior to this procurement exercise. 

The Government is also investing $7.5 million over four years to continue the Youth Advisory Sessions (YAS) for young job seekers in Digital Services from 1 July 2022. Introduced as a time-limited measure in the 2020–21 Budget, the YAS is currently providing young people in Online Employment Services access to up to three advisory sessions to be delivered by TtW providers. 

More information

COVID-19 changes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, online employment servicing changed. For more information on these changes, you can refer to the participation fact sheets, or visit the Online Employment Services webpage.

Consultation on the new system

In March 2019, the Australian Government announced that the New Employment Services Model would replace jobactive in July 2022, featuring a licensing system.

This licensing system will reform the traditional approach to procuring employment services providers and make it more flexible.

The new model was informed by extensive collaboration with:

  • over 1400 stakeholders;
  • national and internal research
  • intensive user centred design with job seekers, employers and employment service providers

Consultation and user-centred design is continuing during the New Employment Services Trial and during the development of the final model.

See: Consultation to inform the new employment services

Fact sheets