Low-skilled workers alienated from workforce, says report

by L&D02 Nov 2016
A major report has found that low-skilled workers are being increasingly excluded from the workforce, and that there is only one job advertised for every two low-skilled workers seeking employment.
The research, undertaken by Anglicare, is titled Positions Vacant? When the Jobs Aren’t There and is a part of the organisation's Jobs Availability Snapshot. The findings show that only 13 percent of all advertised jobs in May 2016 were entry level (which assumes up to year 10 education or equivalent).
It was found that 138,044 people were competing for just 21,812 entry-level jobs advertised nationally in May. Overall, 732,000 Australians were registered as unemployed in June, with an average of 168,896 jobs advertised each month.
The study concluded that at a national level, there are two job seekers for every low-skilled advertised position.
The report said, "These figures suggest that roughly half the job seekers complying with their government-mandated job plan will not find jobs and so are structurally excluded from the labour market.
"The picture is grimmer still when we look at the number of low-skilled vacancies at state and territory level. In Tasmania and South Australia, for example, the disparity between available low-skill positions and people looking for work at that level is much higher, with over four job seekers per advertised low-skill vacancy in South Australia, and five in Tasmania.”
According to Anglicare's recommendations, Australia needs to grow its job market as well as invest in its workforce in order for people to improve skills.
“It’s easy to say ‘get a job’ to someone experiencing unemployment. But the stories contained within this report show we need a much more nuanced understanding of the systemic and individual barriers faced by disadvantaged job seekers,” Anglicare Australia Council chair Dr Chris Jones is quoted as saying in the report.
Anglicare CEO, Casey Chambers, added, "This report demonstrates how when we invest in individuals, we see real results. We see people taking steps on a path to employment and participation, and also towards fulfilment and the maximising of their potential. It also shows how as a society we do not yet have the answers to unemployment or underemployment, and we will not uncover them by worrying away at the unemployed individual."