Feedback informs the next generation of employment services

Five people, two men and three women, outside in a town.

(Left to right) Patrick Fester, Catherine Gomer, Kate Carnell AO, who is on the Expert Advisory Panel, Louise Osborne from ThinkPalace and Ian Sheldon were recently in Logan, Queensland, to conduct interviews as part of the user-centred research.

This story was first published on Monday 17 September 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business received over 450 submissions in response to its public discussion paper—the Next Generation of Employment Services 2020—released at the end of June.

The Australian Government funds employment services to support Australians into work. The jobactive network has been operating since 2015, with 1700 sites across Australia. Existing arrangements will continue until 2020. This presents an opportunity to reconsider the way employment services are delivered beyond 2020.

To inform the development of the next generation of employment services, the department has consulted widely. Around 560 stakeholders expressed their views across 23 consultation sessions held in metropolitan and regional areas, and in every state and territory.

The feedback from stakeholders has been varied but some of the strong themes that have emerged are:

  • A desire for a tailored and targeted approach to providing employment services, one that is flexible enough to record and recognise a job seeker’s changing circumstances and able to provide job seekers with greater choice about the services they receive.
  • A desire for a more positive approach, including using positive language when describing job seekers and services; focussing on a job seeker’s strengths when developing an employment strategy for them; and providing greater rewards and recognition for achievement.
  • A desire to see greater recognition of achievement or progression along a journey towards attaining employment, rather than a sole or primary focus on just attaining employment. This would be reflected in the goals of the model as well as the servicing strategies.
Three speech bubbles.

Responses from stakeholders during the consultation process.

In addition to the feedback from submissions and public consultations, the department conducted user-centred design research. Consultations took place with job seekers, employers and existing service providers in their homes, communities and businesses.

Further user-centred research will be undertaken to refine the future model.

Submissions to the public discussion paper have now closed, however feedback can still be provided by emailing . Published submissions can be viewed at the Department of Industry’s Consultation Hub.

So what’s next?

Feedback from stakeholders will be used to inform the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel’s deliberations and final recommendations, which will be provided to the department by 15 October 2018.

Read more about the future of employment services.

Correct at time of publication.