Nearly six Queenslanders compete for every entry-level job vacancy

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New research from Anglicare has found nearly six people are competing for every entry-level job vacancy in Queensland

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New research from Anglicare has found nearly six people are competing for every entry-level job vacancy in Queensland.

The Anglicare Jobs Availability Snapshot 2019, released annually during Anti-Poverty Week (13-19 October 2019), shows the situation for the community’s most disadvantaged job seekers has worsened over the past 12 months.

Anglicare Southern Queensland Executive Director Karen Crouch said the research found 5.95 people were now competing for every entry-level vacancy, up from 4.77 in 2018. Queensland was also above the national average of 5.49.

“Things are particularly tough for people who already face significant barriers to getting a job – especially young people who didn’t finish year 12, people with disabilities and older people,” Ms Crouch said.

“Making the situation even more difficult for vulnerable Queenslanders is the steady decline in the number of entry level jobs available, combined with the steady increase in the number of underemployed people who want to work more hours.

“That leaves us with the situation where more people are competing for fewer jobs.”

Ms Crouch said job seekers without recent experience or qualifications were often competing against more qualified people for entry-level roles.

“More than half of employers consider relevant experience to be essential for lower skilled vacancies, yet many of our most disadvantaged community members lack recent experience,” Ms Crouch said.

“It’s a Catch-22 that’s making it very difficult for them to get a foothold in the workforce.”

Ms Crouch said the findings of this year’s Jobs Availability Snapshot show a clear need to invest in job creation and training that is directly linked to available jobs, and to immediately raise the rates of Newstart and the Youth Allowance.

“If we’re serious about helping people, we need to create jobs that match their skills – instead of forcing them to compete for jobs that just aren’t there,” she said.

“We need to fix the Jobactive Network. It’s taking an average of five years to find work for those who need the most help, and many of them are being punished for no reason – being cut off from payments and later found to have done nothing wrong.

“Jobactive providers should be offering training that is actually linked to work and supporting people to stay in work once they find employment.

“Previous Anglicare research has found that a person-centred approach, built on acknowledging the circumstances and ambitions of the job seeker, delivers more positive training and employment outcomes that a ‘jobs first’ approach.

“And as has been reiterated time and time again by organisations across all sectors of our society, the rates of Newstart and Youth Allowance are unacceptably low.

“The rate of Newstart hasn’t been increased in real terms in 25 years, while living costs for people on low incomes just keep rising.

“It means the most vulnerable people in our community are being trapped in poverty and pushed towards homelessness as secure employment and affordable housing drift further out of reach.”

The Anglicare Australia Jobs Availability Snapshot 2019 is available.

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