Government reviews remote employment services
The Gillard Government today announced a review of remote participation and employment services to ensure job service providers are best meeting the needs of Indigenous and other remote job seekers.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis said the Government was committed to improving remote participation and employment services.
“The Government believes that new Remote Participation and Employment Services arrangements, due to be in place by 1 July 2013, should be simpler, more integrated and more flexible than current arrangements,” Senator Arbib said.
“We welcome people’s views on how participation and employment services can be improved to better suit the needs of jobseekers in remote areas.”
Senator Arbib said the Australian Government would establish a Remote Participation and Employment Services Engagement Panel.
“The panel will provide expert advice on effective engagement of remote communities, and on the development of simpler, more integrated and accessible services,” he said.
“The panel will include prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with knowledge of remote communities.
“They will have expertise and experience in remote participation and employment servicing and a high profile in remote Indigenous communities.”
Ms Ellis said details of the panel’s membership would be announced shortly and it was expected the panel would convene for its first meeting in July.
“After the Panel meets, the Australian Government will release a discussion paper and a DVD on remote employment servicing in a variety of Indigenous languages,” Ms Ellis said.
“Community consultation forums will follow in 20 remote locations with community members, service providers, employers and other stakeholders, taking place in August and September 2011.
“The consultations will be used to guide and inform the design of the next remote participation and employment services arrangements.”
Minister Macklin said the Australian Government wanted to see better results for people living in remote areas and this was a unique opportunity to improve outcomes for people in remote communities, many of whom are Indigenous Australians.
“The next remote participation and employment services arrangements are part of a broader strategy to ensure that Indigenous Australians have the same opportunities as all Australians – to get an education, find a job, start their own business, own their own home and provide for their families,” Ms Macklin said.
“‘We encourage all Australians with an involvement in remote regions to get involved in the consultations.”
A discussion paper, details on how to contribute to the review of remote participation and employment services, and locations of the consultations will be available shortly at www.deewr.gov.au