Entry-level jobseekers have to beat as many as 26 other applicants to nail down a job, a new report has found.
Anglicare Australia has released its latest jobs-availability snapshot, finding barely anything has improved for unemployed Australians with barriers to work in the past five years.
On average, 27 Australians are competing for every entry-level job, while three of those applicants have additional barriers to finding work, like disabilities, career gaps or lower educational attainment.
Workers made redundant later in life and those in remote areas also face added challenges.
Anglicare arrived at these numbers after comparing the number of people with barriers to work (104,457), with the 38,040 suitable, entry-level job vacancies in July.
“Over 100,000 of these jobseekers are looking for work. That number has barely budged in five years,” Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said on Thursday.
“Our system is failing those who need the most help to find work – people with disabilities, who didn’t finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life.”
When there are several workers competing for the same role, workers with the extra barriers “barely stand a chance”.
While it’s an improvement on the 2020 report, which found there were 106 workers for every entry-level job, Anglicare said it was largely due to the most employable jobseekers finding work relatively easily.
“Those with barriers to work have been left behind.”
Mutual obligations scheme ‘fails’
With the end of the lockdown, Sydneysiders have been required to meet mutual obligations requirements in exchange for JobSeeker payments.
Single people on JobSeeker receive $319.50 a week, including the Energy Supplement, and are required to apply for up to 20 jobs a month and attend meetings with their service providers.
“The pandemic is still raging, but the Government is already back to punishing people who can’t find work,” Chambers said.
“The recovery is leaving people behind – the jobs aren’t there for the people who need them.
“We need to stop these pointless mutual obligations. This system of obligations costs taxpayers millions each year, but it is failing at getting people into work.”
She said it was critical unemployed Australians were lifted out of poverty and provided more support to get them into entry-level jobs in growing industries like aged care.
“These changes are urgent. If we don’t fix this broken system, we will continue leaving the same people behind again and again.”
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