Refugees are amongst out-of-work Australians suffering under a ‘harsh bureaucratic nightmare’ that is the Federal Government’s employment program – Jobactive. A Senate inquiry report states that the $7.3bn scheme has resulted in people gaining employment “in spite of Jobactive, not because of it”. The report called for an overhaul of the program, and labelled the governments approach to employment services as a failure. “Jobactive is not welfare to work, it is welfare to nowhere.” stated the report.
The Refugee Council of Australia has previously criticised the Jobactive program due to the barriers faced by refugee participants. Australia’s ‘punitive’ approach to job seeking creates yet another obstacle for refugees to overcome in the resettlement process, and can affect their ability to create meaningful lives in Australia.
The report highlighted Jobacitve’s most notable shortcomings to be:
- A lack of basic job-readiness services for jobseekers,
- Job providers reaping financial reward for providing unsustainable employment opportunities to jobseekers,
- Lack of investment into employment services, and
- Burden for employers who are receiving masses of poor quality job applications due to jobseeker requirements to apply for 20 jobs per month.
The Jobactive program has been earmarked for review by the government in 2020.