The Coalition is passionate about ensuring Australians get off welfare and into work. When we left office in May 2022, the unemployment rate was 3.9%, which is a 50 year low.
This did not happen by accident. Getting people off welfare and into work was at the forefront of every decision the previous Government made.
The new employment services model that starts today, Workforce Australia, was developed by the previous Coalition Government over a number of years in consultation with jobseekers, providers, peak bodies and employers.
The new model seeks to build on the success of jobactive and give jobseekers the best opportunity to find employment through a tailor made approach. jobactive saw nearly 2 million placements since it was established in 2015. The success of this system was a key factor in keeping our unemployment rate low.
For the new Workforce Australia model to succeed, it is critical that it is based on the principle of mutual obligation, which ensures those receiving a welfare benefit are actively improving their chances of finding work.
The Labor Government must not abandon or try and water down this requirement through the new model.
Unfortunately, we are already seeing worrying signs that the new Labor Government is putting politics ahead of helping Australians find work.
Labor’s proposal to abolish the Youth Jobs PaTH program, which gave tens of thousands of young Australians the ability to find employment, will disadvantage some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
We will hold the government to account to ensure that these changes still allow the system to do what it is designed to do – get more people into jobs.