Not a single region in Australia has enough entry-level jobs to employ the people looking for work, according to a jobs availability snapshot released this week by Anglicare Australia. And among jobseekers, those who need the most support to find and keep work - those without recent experience, those without qualifications, those with disabilities, those living in remote areas - are the least likely to get those jobs.
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said that unemployment has become entrenched among this group, and the pandemic is not helping.
“Our Snapshot shows that over a hundred thousand of these jobseekers are looking for work. That number has barely budged in five years. The same people are being left behind each year."
"They need entry-level jobs, but there aren’t enough to meet demand in any part of the country. Across Australia, there are 27 jobseekers competing for each entry-level role. People with barriers to work barely stand a chance," she said.
According to data collected in the snapshot, the economic recovery and the demand for a more highly skilled workforce is leaving these people behind. For example, only 16 percent of the job roles advertised in July this year were suited for people with minimal training and experience. In contrast, nearly half the advertised roles required tertiary qualifications or at least three years’ experience.
And jobseekers who actually do have higher skills and experience are also competing for the entry-level jobs, leaving those with barriers to work in the dust.
Anglicare Australia has called for a more inclusive approach to job creation, including reducing the obligations jobseekers have to meet in order to receive support, creating more entry-level jobs in sectors that are strapped for manpower - such as the care sector - providing training for jobseekers with barriers to work, and investing in forms of social support that can help people overcome those barriers.
Chambers said: "We need to create entry-level opportunities for people in growing industries – like aged and disability care. And we need to lift jobseekers out of poverty. Nobody should be trapped in poverty while they look for work. These changes are urgent. If we don’t fix this broken system, we will continue leaving the same people behind again and again."