‘Forty a bridge too far’

Tracey Fraser, acting chief executive of The Personnel Group, is pleased with the decision to remain at 20 job applications a month for the unemployed. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

A BORDER employment agency has welcomed a decision to abandon a plan to force job seekers to apply for at least 40 jobs a month.

The government’s proposal to double the job application target for Newstart Allowance recipients was widely criticised as punitive for job seekers.

Instead, the requirement of 20 applications will remain.

The Personnel Group said the increased burden placed on jobseekers by 40 applications a month “far outweighs any benefit”.

“Jobseeker frustration in having to get double the amount of knock-backs from employers, when they are lodging applications will lower self esteem and confidence,” acting chief executive Tracey Fraser said.

The extra applications, she said, could have resulted in employers becoming frustrated with the potential disruption to their workplaces.

“In some towns, even five applications per unemployed person is too high for the jobs available,” she said.

When the initial 40-application plan was announced in late July, Farrer MP Sussan Ley said some leeway might be needed for rural residents who simply could not put in for so many jobs.

Ms Ley said she was pleased to see that individual employment regions or circumstances were being considered.

“The advice from employment service providers and others is that 20 jobs per month is achievable for most job seekers, but we should still allow some flexibility for specific requirements or individual situations,” she said.

Ms Ley said that was “simple commonsense”.

“Keep in mind, this is over $5billion in funding, so we want a program doing the job its intended to do and this is getting more people into work,” she said.

“The jobless rate is too high and much too high in the under 25 age group we’re not going to turn that around by sitting on our hands.”

Ms Fraser said The Personnel Group established regional employer reference groups last year, allowing it to get first- hand information from employers on the state of the local labour market.

A recent report from the perspective of employers drew an “extremely negative” response to the 40 job applications a month plan.

“At one meeting an employer quoted the statistic that if every jobseeker commenced doing this today each employer in his small town would begin receiving an average of 15 additional resumes per week,” Ms Fraser said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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