- Job Network
The Job Network is an Australian Government funded network of organisations (private and community, and originally also government) that is contracted by the Australian Government, through the
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations(DEEWR), to deliver employment services to unemployed job seekers on Government income support payments and employers.
Job Network providers are initially selected for the network and allocated business through a competitive public tender process, with contract periods running for varying lengths of time determined by the Australian Government. To be eligible for support, people need to be in receipt of eligible income support payments, such as
Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance, the Disability Support Pension or Parenting Payment.
There are over 1000 sites across Australia delivering Job Network services. These sites are managed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
Job Network began in 1998 after the disolution of the old
Commonwealth Employment Serviceor CES. In 1996/7 legislation was introduced into the Australian Federal Parliament to combine the functions of the CES and the Department of Social Security. As a result Centrelinkwas created to provide monetary welfare support to people across Australia. The delivery of employment services was tendered out to Job Network organisations whose primary responsibility is to assist people into work.
Job Network is a competitive industry with organiations competing for contracts through tenders. Job Network is currently in its 4th contract period:
Job Network Contracts
* Contract 1 1998-2000
* Contract 2 2000-2003
* Contract 3 2003-2006
* Contract 3 Extension 2006-2009
Job Network agencies are rated by DEEWR on performance, based on placing clients onto work and keeping them employed for 13 and/or 26 weeks. A Star Rating system is used ranging from one to five stars, with half star increments; five stars indicating the highest level of performance.
Job Network Services
The services provided by Job Network differ according to the length of unemployment of the job seeker, their age, circumstances or the allowance they are receiving from Centrelink. Services include:
- Job Search Support (0-3 months unemployed) : Job Networks will assist in creating an online resume for the purpose of applying for jobs through DEEWR's online Australian JobSearch (AJS) website [http://www.jobsearch.gov.au] , and automatically matching the job seeker's knowledge, skills and experience to new jobs that are available.
- Intensive Support (3+ months of unemployment) : This part of the employment services continuum includes Job Search Training (JST), where job seekers receive training to develop their skills in resume development, application writing, cold canvassing, goal setting, career planning and interview techniques.
- Intensive Support Mutual obligation (At 6, 18, 30, 42, 54 etc Months of unemployment) : Job Seekers are required to participate for 6 months in a mutual obligation activity such as Work for the Dole, Training or Community Work. Mutual obligation is a way of allowing job seekers to "give something back" to their community. While receiving unemployment benefits, all job seekers with a participation requirement are to participate in a mutual obligation activity in a charitable or community-based organisation for 6 months out of every 12. For job seekers with a full time participation requirement, this equates to 390 hours of activity or 15 hours per week.
- Intensive Support Customised Assistance (At 12 and 24 Months) : Job Seekers are provided with one-on-one case management to address their barriers to employment and provide intensive support to assist them in to employment.
- Very Long Term Unemployed Review (At 30 Months) : Job Seekers will be assessed as to how genuine they are in their job seeking and their Job Network Agency may recommend referral to
Full Time Work For The Dole. Full-time Work for the Dole is an option when the job seeker in question has demonstrated a pattern of work avoidance, such as declining jobs, not attending interviews, or intentionally sabotaging their job prospects.
Performance Ratings (Star Ratings)
Every six months (or milestone) the
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)(DEEWR) releases a performance rating of all the sites currently delivering services under the Job Networkcontract these are known as star ratings.
The Star ratings are calculated using a regression model that looks at the number of Jobs or outcomes that a site has achieved.
As the details of the model have not been released Job Network providers are often unsure of what their next star rating will be.
The star ratings range from 1 star to 5 stars.
On the 1st of August 2007 the DEEWR closed most sites that got lower than 3 stars in the 31/12/2006 star ratings.
[http://www.jnsolutions.com.au/ JN Solutions] is currently the only organisation that provides a method for predicting star ratings.
Major Job Network Agencies
Agencies contracted under the Job Network include MAXEmployment,
Mission Australia, The Salvation Armyand the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
The peak industry bodies for Job Network members are [http://www.ja.com.au/ Jobs Australia] and [http://www.nesa.com.au/ National Employment Services Association] (NESA). These bodies represent the needs and wishes of the employment services sector to the Australian Government. Professional development within the industry is provided by organisations such as [http://www.diversityatwork.com.au/ Diversity@Work] , [http://www.duality.com.au/ Duality] , [http://www.jobnetworkassist.com/ Job Network Assist] and [http://www.worksavvyparents.com.au/ Work Savvy Parents] to ensure staff are current and up to date with policies and procedures.
[http://www.jnsolutions.com.au/ JN Solutions] is an organisation that provides a method for managing the performance of the Job Network contract.
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