Members were provided with an overview of the Local Jobs Program announced on 1 September 2020 by Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
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Members noted most job seekers are entering employment services for the first time and are job ready, providing the department an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation.
Members discussed the current impact of COVID-19 on the labour market, noting that labour markets will change as the economy recovers.
An update on the design of the Points Based Activation System (PBAS) to be implemented from October 2020 in the NEST was provided. Members noted new digital job seekers in the New Employment Services Trial (NEST) Regions will start in PBAS when they commence in employment services. Safeguards will be improved to review a job seeker’s progress in digital servicing and to allow job seekers to opt out of digital services to be serviced by a provider. The policy and operational aspects of PBAS will be evaluated throughout the NEST to inform the final design of the New Employment Services Model.
Members were provided an update on the User Centred Design Research and NEST evaluation.
The Chair informed members that the Reference Group in its current form would be dissolved with a new advisory group to be established in response to the impacts of COVID-19. The new group will have a broader remit to incorporate the Government’s focus on skills and training and the Local Jobs Program to support economic recovery.
The Chair acknowledged the Reference Group’s value in providing advice in the implementation of the New Employment Services Model and the merit in having an advisory body to help shape the new model in the changed environment. The Chair thanked members for their contribution in supporting the New Employment Services Model design.