Creating a more level playing field in the jobs market

07 August 2019

Creating a more level playing field in the jobs market

High competition for jobs in Western Australia is pushing young inexperienced jobseekers and the long-term unemployed to the back of the queue, a gathering of business leaders in Perth has heard.

Our CEO Nicole Dwyer outlined the key challenges and opportunities facing local jobseekers and employers during her presentation at the CEDA event titled: Education and Training for the future of WA’s workforce. We currently supports around 20,000 unemployed people in WA.

By providing training and support, as well as partnering closely with local employers, we place approximately 2000 local job seekers into work across the state every month.

“We know certain cohorts of our community are over-represented in unemployment and face many challenges in joining the job market,” Ms Dwyer told the audience at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“Young people are the most impacted in Western Australia, with an unemployment rate that is double the general rate.”

Ms Dwyer said that, on average, 15 people apply for every single unskilled or semi-skilled role. Of those, 8 will be current workers looking for a move, 4 recently unemployed (less than three months), 2 will be young people who have just left school with no experience and 1 will be a long-term unemployed person.

“It’s competitive and those with strong resumes and with experience will jump to the front of the queue ahead of long-term unemployed and new entrants to the jobs market,” she said.

According to Ms Dwyer, the benefits of employment extend well beyond the pay packet with the social and psychological gains for the individual and community often sorely underestimated.

The delivery of employment services therefore continues to play a key role in helping disadvantaged job seekers upskill and become more ‘work ready’ while creating more apprenticeship opportunities should also be a focus in key growth industries.

“There are skill shortages already in WA for mechanics, metal workers, welders and panel beaters. We should be investing more to lift these rates to meet future demand,” she said.

Other guest speakers at the lunch event held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on August 6 included Anne Driscoll - Director General, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Simon Eassom - Executive General Manager Education with CPA Australia and Nate Sturcke - Managing Director, Skills of the Modern Age.

The session was chaired by Scott Browne - VP Human Resources at Rio Tinto and facilitated by Professor Shamit Saggar - Director of the UWA Public Policy Institute at the University of Western Australia.