THE beginning of July marked the start of a new Federal Government job service program to help the unemployed find work, as new figures revealed that Cannington had among the biggest growth in the number of people on welfare benefits.
Job Services Australia, administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, started on July 1. It promises a better, more streamlined, service than under the Job Network system following a review started last year. Those looking for work are matched to employers and handled through a single service provider.
According to the department’s website, JSA has a greater emphasis on skill development and training, more help for disadvantaged job-seekers and those who have recently lost their jobs.
The changes come as department statistics revealed that the number of job-seekers in Cannington on Newstart or Youth Allowance, in the 12 months to May, jumped 86 per cent to 1917.
Cannington has WA’s sixth-highest number of people on these benefits.
Communicare Inc executive manager employment and training services Jason Finch said the government’s approach to dealing with the unemployed was a step in the right direction.
“The intent of this system is better… an individual’s issues are dealt with by a single provider and in a more caring way,” Mr Finch said.
“It’s more of an education process (for clients) in terms of providing a better understanding of what they’re here for and how we can help them.”
Employment group Community First International expanded services into suburbs, including Cannington, to coincide with the start of JSA on July 1.
Chief executive Clare Allen said the transition to the new system had been smooth for the business and for job seekers.
“Although it’s only been a week, it’s been very positive for us,” Ms Allen said.