What are Best-Practice Programs for Jobseekers Facing High Barriers to Employment?

Melbourne Institute Policy Brief No. 04/16

Date: 2016

Author(s):

Jeff Borland
Mark Considine
Guyonne Kalb
David Ribar

Abstract

This Policy Brief proposes a new model for employment programs to assist jobseekers with high levels of labour market disadvantage. Current employment programs in Australia are either unsuitable for or have been poorly designed to meet the needs of these jobseekers. Based on evidence from evaluations of employment programs and from practitioners, we argue that an employment program for jobseekers with high levels of disadvantage should substantially address their deficiencies in job readiness and skills and provide a pathway to employment via work experience. This is most likely to be feasible where programs are implemented at a local level through a partnership between service providers and employers. Why employment programs should include these elements is explained, and a variety of issues in implementing the proposed model of employment programs are discussed.

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