24 July 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here.

Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union survey reveals challenges for those seeking work, from lack of information to unreasonable demands

Jobseekers have reported broad confusion about the new Workforce Australia system – including among the employment consultants tasked with running it – with some asked to drive more than 120km to job agency appointments.

Hundreds of respondents to a survey conducted by the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) this month listed issues they’d faced during the transition to the $1.5bn-a-year scheme, which replaced Jobactive at the start of the month.

One respondent said their first interview with their provider in rural South Australia “asked questions of a private nature in a public setting … the reception area”.

The interviewer also suggested I take time off to attend job interviews without telling my employer why. Also inferred if I didn’t could lead to problems.

– Person forced to take leave work for job interviews

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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