In the 1997 Budget, the Commonwealth Government announced major changes to the delivery of labour market assistance. The overall objective of the changes was to assist the efficient, effective and equitable functioning of the labour market by reducing unemployment, in particular long-term unemployment, through the provision of services to job seekers and employers. These reforms included:
- the formal establishment of an integrated Commonwealth service delivery agency (known as Centrelink) to provide income support, basic employment and student assistance services. Centrelink, in its employment services role, undertakes a range of duties including job seeker registration, assessment and referral to appropriate services including the Job Network;
Some of the services offered by the Job Network are:
- the formation of the Job Network, which consists of more than 200 private, community and government based organisations supplying employment services to job seekers and employers on a competitive basis. In Tasmania at May 2002, there were 11 Job Network providers operating from 56 sites throughout the State.
- matching of job vacancies to job seekers;
- training of unemployed people in the skills necessary to gain a job;
- assisting long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged job seekers to overcome their employment barriers and place them in jobs; and
The Job Network is funded by money previously provided for labour market programs and case management. A small number of previous programs were retained, however, to provide entry-level training incentives, regional assistance and special support for indigenous people and migrants.
The latest information about the services offered by Centrelink can be found on the Centrelink web site, at Centrelink Information - A Guide to Payments and Services 2002-03
- providing assistance to unemployed people to help them establish their own businesses through the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).