Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Homeless groups urged to tender for Employment Services

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Minister for Employment Participation

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, and the , Tanya Plibersek, today urged providers with expertise in providing services to the homeless to tender for the Government’s new employment services.

The Government is now inviting tenders for its new $3.9 billion employment services which begin on July 1, 2009.

Mr O’Connor and Ms Plibersek said the new integrated service would provide greater resources for disadvantaged job seekers including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Under the new service, tenderers will be able to bid to provide specialist services to homeless job seekers while all successful providers will be encouraged to work with homeless organisations.

“Employment is a crucial pathway out of homelessness,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The new services will provide tailored assistance to job seekers and help them to address significant barriers to employment like homelessness.

“Tenderers will need to demonstrate strategies to support job seekers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as well as identify collaborative arrangements they will put in place.

“The Government will help peak employment service organisations and peak homeless organisations to develop a template agreement that can be used by successful tenderers to formalise these collaborative arrangements.”

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government had identified addressing homelessness as a key priority.

“Each year 40,000 18 to 35 year olds become homeless and unemployed. Most are early school leavers, who without help, will struggle to hold down permanent housing,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Linking homeless Australians with education, training or work opportunities is a major factor in overcoming the cycle of disadvantage experienced on a daily basis by people who face life on the streets or moving from one temporary accommodation to another.”

The Government is currently developing a White Paper on homelessness which will be released later this year.

The White Paper will outline a plan to reduce homelessness over the next decade including ways to increase the participation of homeless people in our economy.