4 October 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here.

MP Julian Hill says some ‘stunts’ in the employment services system only push people further into poverty

A Labor MP has questioned the privatisation of the multi-billion-dollar employment services system, saying it’s failed to prepare many disadvantaged jobseekers for work and made others less employable by demeaning them.

In his first public comments after being appointed chair of a parliamentary inquiry into the sector, Julian Hill also took specific aim at work for the dole and said parts of the welfare compliance regime resembled the TV show Squid Game, in which contestants compete in do-or-die trials.

Hill insisted the inquiry into the $7.1bn Workforce Australia scheme will go where a long line of past investigations hadn’t by examining “sacred cows” such as privatisation and “work-first” ideology.

If the point of privatisation was to create innovation and efficiencies, if we now regulate and prescribe everything in detail, then why would we continue with the current form of privatised system?

– Julian Hill, MP for Division of Bruce and chair of Workforce Australia inquiry

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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