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X-rated email exposes major Centrelink issue: 'Costs billions of dollars'

Recruiter Graham Wynn said this is another example of the Workforce Australia system not working.

A screenshot of a job application overlayed of two people looking at a Centrelink sign
A Centrelink recipient sent in a vile job application and the recruiter who saw it is fed up seeing submissions like this. (Source: Supplied/Getty)

A recruiter has leaked a crude job application and exposed a huge problem with the government's "ineffective" employment system, which requires some Centrelink recipients to apply for a certain number of jobs through Workforce Australia to get their allowance paid.

Graham Wynn, founder of Superior People Recruitment, said his inbox gets clogged with fake applications from people simply trying to hit their quota. He's fed up with the time wasters and said the system needs a major overhaul.

"It costs billions of dollars to run this system," he told Yahoo Finance. "Which is your taxpayer money, basically. It's pretty useless. It doesn't achieve what it's meant to achieve."

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Wynn was "shocked, frustrated and angry" after reading a recent submission from a jobseeker with no intention of landing a role.

In the 'About Me' section, the jobseeker said he referred to the size of his genitals, that he "does drugs" and loves swingers parties.

"This service is dumb, you can’t find work for people, and you’re incapable of actually doing what is required," the man added. "This has been a public profile since March and no one has checked anything... Go f**k yourself and have a great day."

Do you have a story? Email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

In the past month alone, Wynn said his company advertised 34 jobs on Workforce Australia and only 1.9 per cent of people who applied went to the next round. The other 98.1 per cent either had no contact information or their skills didn't match.

A job application to Workforce Australia that is full of crude remarks.
Wynn said this application is one of many that come in when his recruitment agency tries to find work for people on the Workforce Australia system. (Source: Supplied)

A spokesperson for the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations told Yahoo Finance employment services providers are meant to be the first line of defence when applications are submitted.

"Providers are contractually obliged to review and assess the quality of all job applications submitted by an individual," the spokesperson said.

"Assessment of job applications includes the standard of the application and if the individual is appropriately experienced or qualified for the role. If an individual’s job application is identified as unsatisfactory, providers are expected to educate and support individuals to improve the quality of their applications."

The Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services handed down a scathing report at the end of 2023 about the system.

“It’s harsh but true to say Australia no longer has an effective coherent national employment services system; we have an inefficient outsourced fragmented social security compliance management system that sometimes gets someone a job," Committee Chair, Julian Hill, said.

“The current system is inefficient, tying clients and providers up in red tape, driving away businesses and effectively making too many people less employable by requiring them to do silly courses, pointless activities or apply for jobs they simply cannot do."

The Albanese government has committed $9.5 billion over the next four years to the Workforce Australia system.

Wynn claimed to Yahoo Finance jobseekers' profiles and applications aren't being checked by officials at Workforce Australia.

He said the service needs a massive overhaul.

"For each person applying for a job, a copy of their application should go to a job service provider, then they can see what jobs they are applying for and the quality of application," he said.

"That will make a big difference."

Superior People Recruitment founder Graham Wynn
Superior People Recruitment founder Graham Wynn said the system desperately needs to change. (Source: Supplied)

Wynn said this application does not represent all Centrelink applicants, highlighting that many are legitimately seeking employment. But he said there are too many who don't care.

One of the Select Committee's 75 recommendations was to have a "broadened and tailored approach to mutual obligations and a new Shared Accountability Framework for compliance".

The committee predicted this could cut red tape and compliance burden, stop driving employers away and more effectively support disadvantaged people into work.

People on certain Centrelink payments have to abide by what's called "mutual obligations" if they want to continue getting money from the government.

Those payments include:

  • JobSeeker

  • Youth Allowance for job seekers

  • Parenting Payment single after your youngest child turns 6

  • Special Benefit paid under certain conditions

If you’re with Workforce Australia, you will have a points target each month to meet your requirements.

This target will depend on your personal circumstances and local labour market conditions, but you can rack up points by doing the following tasks:

  • Applying for jobs

  • Participating in training

  • Going to job interviews

If you don't meet your monthly targets, then you could face a demerit or a penalty.

"Individuals who fail to meet their mutual obligation requirements, including submitting inappropriate job applications, may face payment suspension, financial penalties, or payment cancellation," the department spokesperson said.

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