Community Organisation Calls For More Support for Disadvantaged Job Hunters

By Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
October 21, 2021 Updated: October 21, 2021

Anglicare Australia has called for more support for job seekers with barriers to return to work while criticising the federal government’s JobSeeker program as a “failing” system.

According to Anglicare, there are around 27 job seekers applying for the same entry-level job and people without qualifications or work experience are spending an average of five years looking for work.

Job seekers without the qualification and experience are also outnumbering entry-level vacancies by as many as eight-to-one.

“Our system is failing those who need the most help to find work–people with disabilities, who did not finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life,” Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said.

“We need to create entry-level opportunities for people in growing industries like aged and disability care and we need to lift job seekers out of poverty.

“The pandemic is still raging. The jobs are not there for the people who need them. Nobody should be trapped in poverty while they look for work.”

The study also added that despite all the changes the government have implemented, the number of people with barriers to work has barely changed.

A study conducted by the Australian government in October 2020 demonstrated that normal working-age people have an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent whilst those suffering from disabilities have a 10 percent unemployment rate.

The comments by Chambers come though as the popular job-seeking website SEEK, has reported that job advertisements have been on a rise since Sep. 2021 with job applications declining by 0.8 percent month to month in Sep. 2021.

Job opportunities for hospitality, tourism, manufacturing and transport have also seen the greatest rate of growth since Aug. 2021.

Meanwhile, mutual obligations for unemployed Australians restarted in the Australian Capital Territory this week, in New South Wales last week and are due to begin in Victoria towards the end of October.

This means that those on the unemployment benefits will need to return to attending compulsory appointments with employment service providers, agreeing to a job plan and reporting job searches to avoid support payments being ceased or reduced.

Chambers said that given this since there would be a return of the JobSeeker program she also asked for a more stable basic income for those that are unemployed. The old rate of $40 per day Chambers argued left some people with as little as $7 a day after essential bills were paid placing them below the poverty line.

She called instead for the JobSeeker payment initiated in 2020 to keep them above the poverty line.

Marina Zhang