Coalition plan will create busy-work instead of jobs

David Hardie writes: Re. “Rundle: how job application scheme will kill the Coalition’s base” (yesterday). As an individual who is *cough* between jobs but has worked in human resources (amongst other areas), I can perhaps bring another perspective to the story.  As a personal disclosure, I am not on unemployment benefits. To apply for 40 jobs, thanks to the large employment websites, is a few hours work.  This will lead to a substantial increase in job applications and workload for employers and disproportionately be biased towards the lower, unskilled end of the market — as people at the skilled/professional end of the market will find it difficult to qualify for unemployment benefits due to savings, assets, spouse’s income etc.  All of this is straightforward.

But what happens next? For the unemployed who are clients of a job services agency it is in the interests of the agency to make sure that their client meets the requirements to be considered a job seeker. This will mean applications being generated on an industrial scale. For employers, they will soon learn to filter out job agency applications.  So what can the agency do for clients and genuine applications?

What will probably happen will be some “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” code where the agency will send an application from a genuine applicant.  Followed by one email with a token application from every one of their other clients who are in danger of not making their quota for the month. The whole thing is the triumph of dogma over pragmatism.  The equivalent of putting out buckets in the belief that this will bring more rain. In a related matter, if anyone wants to employ a 46-year-old professional with a work history in education and management I can be found in the White Pages as the third D Hardie in Western Australia.  Now, only 39 to go …

Tom Moloney writes:You can’t imagine how hesitant I am to add to Mr. Rundle’s piece on job applications. Every envelope (leave aside emails) must be opened: it could be a booby trap from ATO. Every application (including emails) must be recorded. Someone from Centrelink is sure to telephone and ask if that rat Moloney applied for a job on April 1. You might say no as a reflex but what if cunning Tom can prove it?

On the Business Council of Australia’s warnings

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Business council goes back to the 80s for its latest warning of woe” (Tuesday). The Business Council has the right to speak for business but also the responsibility to speak for all of Australia. In short, Shepherd is partly right  in what he says, but the full statement should be —  “the Government must facilitate the creation of wealth and distribute it in a way which provides real benefits rather than handouts to the majority — as well as  facilitate the creation of sustainable as well as efficient power and in the process create efficient and well paid employment”.