Meet the leader

In addition, Job Futures is currently:

  • The largest specialist JSA provider,
  • The fourth largest JSA provider,
  • One of the largest DES providers; and,
  • The third largest provider in Green Army.

Job Futures has also increased its job placements at a time when unemployment has risen. By working with local organisations plugged into their local labour market we are able to identify opportunities, access the hidden jobs market and adapt to economic fluctuations before the impact is felt.

(Source: ACM04 Job Placement Trends report)

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Job Futures growth in 2014

Caseload commencements over the past 12 months have totaled 68,818.

The Job Futures network has helped an extra 16,182 people since last year as our provider network grows and more job seekers choose our service. This increase also reflects the economic downturn. The breakdown of the last 12 months is:

JSA: 58,447
DES: 7,713
Access: 2,658

(Source: JSA and DES caseload reports 1/7/2013 - 30/06/2014 & Access reporting (as per previous report))

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5 keys to success in employment services

1. Effective Assessments - Our Turning Point Assessment seeks to determine the most suitable time to deliver an intervention (e.g. counselling or training) based on an Applied Psychological Assessment to understand job seekers' attitudes towards readiness for employment. This targeted approach brings results.

2. Maintaining Engagement - Job Futures has consistently outperformed the JSA provider average for minimum contacts with clients during contract performance periods. We know the stronger the engagement the more quickly people address barriers and achieve employment.

3. Leadership Program - Skilled site leaders are key to effective delivery of employment services. We invest heavily in the professional development of our leaders. Job Futures received National Workforce Development Funding for our Leadership Program which delivers a Diploma in Employment Services. The program was part of a strategy to address the needs of our emerging leaders in what has become a demanding environment.

4. Online Learning Tools - Staff have 24 hour access to industry training through Turning Point, our online learning resource, with 1,175 resources to date that includes webinars and online tools.

5. Research & Innovation Team - Job Futures runs a research program which includes reviews of international and Australian best practice, stakeholder feedback, and encourages sector collaboration on pilot projects. It also identifies partnerships for research to drive continuous improvement and innovation. An example is our partnership with the University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Wollongong for the study into how formal and informal networks affect employment outcomes for the long-term and youth unemployed. This work is funded under the Australian Research Council Linkage Grants.

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Impressive JSA 5 Star results in tough times

Job Futures has the highest number of 5 Star sites of all the large JSA providers (60+ sites).

95% of our sites are 3 Stars or above, the highest performance profile of any of the large providers.

(Source: June 2014, June 2013, June 2012, Star Ratings report)

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Job Futures focuses on employment strategy

Hear from Toni Wren, an employment and social policy specialist, who assisted Job Futures to develop our demand led employment strategy which is resulting in job seekers being better prepared to meet the needs of employers.

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Demand-led employment strategy

A demand-led program starts with an employer and works backwards to develop a pipeline of employer-led skills training. This means designing and delivering services for job seekers based on the hiring requirements of employers. It is founded on the premise that the better the training meets the employer's needs, the more likely it is that the individual will get and keep the job.

Over the last 12 months Job Futures has focused on improving the way we work with medium to large employers. Historically our strength has been in local relationships formed by our members with local employers in their communities.

Our objective has been to introduce strategies to work with larger employers at both regional and national levels. After researching a number of different employer servicing models, Job Futures has adopted a demand-led employment strategy. The demand-led strategy aims to improve employment outcomes by ensuring the skills development we provide our job seekers meets employer requirements for available positions.

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Pilot JSA Quality Assurance Framework

In 2012 the Department of Employment (formerly DEEWR) worked with a select number of Providers to participate in a JSA Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) pilot.

The pilot consisted of two phases, Activity 1 and Activity 2, and comprised an audit by an independent third party against 8 principles developed by the Department. Certification under QAF is performed in conjunction with accreditation against a Quality Standard (e.g. ISO 9001).

Activity 1 was held in the first quarter of 2013, which Job Futures successfully passed. Activity 2 was for certification against an accredited Quality Standard, which Job Futures already held with our Disability Service Standards, as well as complying with the full set of 8 principles. The audit for Activity 2 was held during October and November 2013 and Job Futures successfully achieved accreditation.

Achieving early certification provides Job Futures with a distinct advantage over other providers as the QAF will be compulsory for all employment services post July 2015. Accreditation serves as official acknowledgement by an independent body that our JSA members deliver high quality, person-centred services to job seekers.

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Turning Point: 26 week outcomes

The graph illustrates that 26 week outcomes for JSA have increased by up to 56% for those who are hardest to place and maintain employment.

Its implementation has increased performance across the board in all streams from 13 week to 26 week outcomes and improved the utilisation of our resources through a better focus of time.

Our Turning Point Assessment Model seeks to determine the most suitable time to deliver specific activities to job seekers to help move them towards employment. The model is based on an applied psychological assessment to accurately identify the 'state of change' in which a job seeker is in.

Designed in partnership with Esher House, the model is delivering promising results with placements for job seekers. (JF/Esher House internal data).

The graph above shows the conversion rate % of only those with an outcome and not the general conversion rate.

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Breakthrough: Up to 56% outcomes increase

Matt Little, CEO of Job Futures, says, "The model represents a significantly new way of working in Employment Services and is delivering better results for Australia's unemployed."

Job Futures Turning Point Assessment Model was developed in conjunction with leading UK research organisation Esher House and launched in October 2013.

This unique assessment approach is used to differentiate between job seekers that are able to gain and sustain employment and those that require more intensive support in order to secure employment. This has enabled Job Futures to effectively match the type of assistance it provides to individual job seekers regardless of how long they have been unemployed.

The model focuses on administering an applied psychology assessment that accurately identifies what "stage of change" the job seeker is in. Those who are found to be in the ACTING (ACTION) stage of change are what are normally referred to as "work ready". They are willing and able to work and can be directed towards activities best designed to help them gain and maintain employment.

Job seekers that are assessed in the other stages of change can be assigned appropriate interventions that will move them into the ACTING (ACTION) phase.

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Employment consultants talk about changing lives

Listen to front line staff from CHESS, ACSO and Marillac talk about how a job can change a person's life. As one employment consultant put it, "jobs are everything - they are life changing".

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We spend more time with people in need

Maintaining job seeker engagement is crucial. Job Futures has consistently outperformed the JSA provider average for minimum contacts with clients during contract performance periods.

(Source: M.Drayton/S.Watson presentation to JF National Conference 2014 - data from 1/7/09-31/3/14)

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Working with gas producer QGC

BUSY At Work and QGC Pty Ltd have created the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program. This will develop a local labour force in non-coal seam gas industries in the Western Downs, Gladstone, North Burnett and Banana Shire regions of Queensland.

The program will contribute to creating sustainable communities, attracting 200 apprentices and trainees.

Participation in the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program is free for businesses within the Western Downs, Gladstone, North Burnett and Banana Shire regions. The program will match local businesses with the right apprentice or trainee and then provide a structured mentoring program to support the participant to complete their qualification. The program will complement existing Federal Government incentives available.

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Channel 7 story on the Academy for Community Employment

Job Futures member Bridging the Gap has established an Academy for Community Employment offering an innovative approach to employers' recruitment needs.

The academy, founded in July 2013, was funded by the Australian Government Department of Human Services through the Better Futures, Local Solutions initiative. Within the first financial year the academy registered 55 candidates, 53 of whom achieved their Passport-to-Employment from which 37 secured sustainable employment.

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Member immersions, capturing the knowledge

This year Job Futures staff carried out 39 immersions at member sites. The aim was to collect information about activities, expertise, local connections and what's working as well as identifying areas for improvement. From this, Job Futures identified new approaches to strengthen their services and share best practice across the network.

One example is our work with member organisation Employment Options, South Australia. Employment Options required a tailored employer strategy and were keen to learn from successful strategies being applied in the network.

We helped them identify skills in demand in their region, and survey employers to determine the top 3 local industries with skills in demand.

As a result of the survey findings, Employment Options partnered with the Food, Tourism & Hospitality Industry Skills Advisory Council SA (FTHISAC) and introduced a pilot program to meet the needs of local employers in the sector. The program prepared job seekers with a `ticket' in the food manufacturing industry, comparable to White Cards in construction.

Early indicators are positive for the program's success, with 4 of the 8 participants employed and one commenced in a work trial. Plans are for the program to run in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the Southern Vales.

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How John beat long-term unemployment

Job Futures member Employment Directions in South Australia is playing a vital role in breaking down barriers to employment in their community. Here is just one example of the work they are doing.

John Haysman is a charismatic, indigenous 44 year old man who has been registered as unemployed since 2009. Despite being well educated, enthusiastic and genuine, he has struggled to find long-term employment in the area where there are limited opportunities.

Employment Directions commenced working with John in June 2013. The first task was to focus on an area of interest and then strengthen John's capabilities by obtaining his Certificate ll in Civil Construction, including his Work Zone Traffic Management and Fork Lift License. Once achieved, a job application was prepared with John targeting local town councils. His course trainer was also asked to assist as a referee.

After 5 long years of struggling and continual effort on John's behalf, he was successful in gaining full time employment with the Regional Council of Goyder as a Plant Operator / Labourer. Post placement calls confirm that John is ecstatic with his working situation and the Council is pleased to have such a positive and hardworking employee.

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Partnerships prepare mature-age job seekers for aged care industry

Job Futures member BUSY At Work have partnered with aged care provider Wesley Mission to target occupations across Aged Care and Community Services. To provide relevant training BUSY At Work will also partner with Brisbane TAFE targeting mature aged job seekers. This sector provides good employment prospects for mature age workers, as 43% of people currently employed in this sector in North Brisbane are aged 45+.

Aged care is a growth industry and Job Futures is developing closer ties with this sector to provide effective pathways to ongoing employment for job seekers.

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Why employment is the real game-changer for ex-offenders

Job Futures member ACSO is considered a provider of choice for people leaving or entering the criminal justice system. This includes not just people leaving prison, but people entering court and police cells. ACSO CEO Karenza Louis-Smith talks below about how ACSO work with this unique target group.

"It starts with behaviour change: what's the behaviour that has led this person to offend and how do we work with them to change that behaviour. It might be drug and alcohol use. It might be a whole bunch of things. Behaviour change programs address that, but aren't enough on their own. We know that 40% of people return to prison, even with interventions and supports around changing their behaviours. The things that make a difference - that you have to add on to behaviour support - are things that help people develop new life skills. We know that people in prison, and throughout the criminal justice system more broadly, have very low levels of literacy and numeracy. There are skills around generally living and looking after themselves that are really important: how to budget, how to plan, how to prepare.

But the real game changer is a job. Our motto is 'jobs change lives', because an economic income and economic participation mean that you can actually live somewhere different. You can break away from all those past networks and things that held you back in the past and things that you've done. The game changer is to find employment. It is the biggest thing that we can do in our work."

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Workforce development program participants

Hit the Ground Running is a Job Futures Workforce Development Program that offers on-the-ground training within a potential employer's business.

Employer Australian Hearing and participants talk about the experience of being part of the program.

Visit hitthegroundrunning.com.au

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FoodWorks partnership meets employer workforce demand

Job Futures member BUSY At Work has developed "Your Skills Your Way", an employer demand-led program for the North Brisbane area. The program provides employers, partner RTOs and job seekers with: a managed job seeker engagement, screening and selection process; development and delivery of a training plan addressing skill sets that have proved successful in the occupation; and, career mapping and mentoring upon placement.

Under this program BUSY At Work will partner with FoodWorks to create approximately 15 retail positions for participants across 10 FoodWorks locations.

The program will also partner with ICE (Institute of Culinary Excellence), QTIC (Queensland Tourism Industry Council), and their members, offering job seekers the opportunity to complete a Scholarship in Culinary Excellence. This will be supported by Brisbane's top chefs who operate five star fine dining restaurants. Upon completion successful scholars will be offered apprenticeships within member businesses. Participants will be supported for 12 months through a partnered mentoring package between BUSY At Work and ICE.

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Chocolate factory offers training

Chocolatier, Ernest Hillier, has placed 22 young people into seasonal work at their Coburg North factory, giving them much needed experience and a boost to their CVs.

CEO of Ernest Hiller, Mark Campbell, said the company joined with Job Futures member Youth Projects to lift employment in the area. "We are very conscious of the high level of youth unemployment in the area and we can offer employment to these young guys and open the door for them to get their first start."

Youth Projects refers people to work at the factory and provides support along the way to both the employer and the participants. The outcomes of this partnership can already be seen with a participant gaining full time permanent employment in the engineering department as a technical assistant, and if he continues to do well, he will move on to an apprenticeship.

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Turning Point Assessment Model at work with CALD clients

This video talks through the Turning Point Assessment Model in action with CALD clients.

Job Futures members Diversitat (Alfred Boror) and ACSO (Layla Vu) conduct Turning Point workshops, which apply the learnings from the research undertaken with leading UK research organisation Esher House.

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Workforce Development Program Employers

Employer Australian Hearing has engaged with the Job Futures Workforce Development Program 'Hit the Ground Running'. Paul Brant, Manager of Recruitment Services as Australian Hearing, and CEO Bill Davidson, talk about the program from their perspective.

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Working with BP and Bunnings

Job Futures member ACSO has initiated project New Dawn which helps homeless participants re-engage with mainstream society.

Current employer sponsors include BP and Bunnings, with the list of partners continuing to grow. ACSO, as the lead agency, is partnering with employers to create a brighter outlook and a 'new dawn' for their JSA and DES participants.

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Kitchen Academy Program: Preparing job seekers for hospitality

The Kitchen Academy Program, run by Job Futures member Youth Projects, based in Glenroy, has provided 10 months of work experience to young people facing unemployment, homelessness or health issues. Hume's youth unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country at 17%, compared with the national rate of 6%.

In a partnership between Youth Projects, Meadows Primary School and Hume Global Learning Village members, the program participants prepared breakfast, morning tea and afternoon tea in the school's kitchen and maintained its vegetable garden. They received training in food hygiene and preparation, as well as learning to work as a team, boost their self-confidence and build on communication skills.

Participant Ben Cox said he learned new skills and was able to discover new recipes. He is now looking for hands-on work at the docks or in a factory. Others have gone on to find work in the hospitality industry.

The next intake of participants will be trained at Sunbury Heights Primary School.

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SBS story on Job Futures member and youth unemployment

Job Futures member Youth Projects' training programs were featured in this story from SBS News about youth underemployment and how they're helping skill young people to combat unemployment and underemployment.

Youth unemployment in Australia has risen sharply but so has youth underemployment. Today, young people are more likely to be underemployed - to have some work but want more hours - than at any time in the last 36 years. The unemployment rate among those aged 15 to 24 at July 2014 stands at 14.1 per cent - the highest rate since October 2001.

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