Introducing Session Speaker Peter Davidson

Peter Davidson is Senior Advisor at ACOSS, where he has influenced (and tried to influence) the shape of employment services in Australia for two decades. He is undertaking a PhD at UNSW comparing activation policies in Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Peter will speak on the topic of ‘Funding employment services to outcomes: why it hasn’t led us to the ‘promised land’ and how can we get there?’ at the 3rd Annual Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference in Brisbane this December.

Australia is the only country to fully privatise its employment service. The Job Network model, in its different iterations, promised Governments and unemployed people a more responsive, individualised and cost-effective employment service focussed on outcomes rather than standardised ‘programs’. Few people at the coalface would describe Jobactive in this way.

In Australia, as in other countries that have adopted outcomes-based purchasing and ‘quasi-markets’ for employment assistance, the result is an increasingly standardised form of job search assistance – ‘coaching and cajoling’ – designed to boost short term employment outcomes at the lowest possible cost. Investment in more substantial help for people who are a greater distance from employment – such as employer engagement strategies, work experience and training – is unlikely unless the purchaser either mandates it or helps pay for it.

So what happened to the ‘promised land’ of flexible investment in people unemployed long-term? How can we reach it from where we are now? The presentation poses these questions and makes a first attempt to answer them.

The 3rd Annual Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference will be held on 1 – 2 December 2016 at the Mercure Brisbane. For further conference information and to secure your registration visit the conference website today.