6 August 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here.

As jobseekers face ‘humiliating’ tasks to maintain payments, vast network of job agencies rakes in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars

Two words make the money go round in Australia’s multi-billion dollar welfare-to-work industry: mutual obligation.

When someone loses their job and applies for the dole, they are sent to an outsourced job agency to get help looking for work. It triggers a payment to the provider – and the possibility of more to come.

The federal government will spend more than $11bn on the two main outsourced employment services programs over four years. The top companies – some of them multinationals – will rake in hundreds of millions of dollars.

It was pretty humiliating… Most people were just going through the motions.

– Alex North, former job seeker

Employment services survey

The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.

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