Jul 282014

Salacious title for a contentious post, I know, but as someone who is currently sucking off the public teat through no fault of my own, I feel it both timely and pertinent that I make comment on the current and proposed Job Services Provider platform and the proposed post 1 July 2015 New Employment Services model announced earlier today by this individual.

I’m a fastidious person and when I get a bone between my teeth, I like to worry at it. I heard this Heart-Sucker individual on AM this morning and given my current and past experience with the Job Service Provider program, thought ‘well, what a load of extra-runny, highly stench-filled bullshit!’

I currently “use” – a term I employ extremely loosely in this context – the services of Salvation Army Employment Plus. Not because I want to, but because I’m forced by the system to be aligned with one of these contracted-to-government job service providers in order to qualify for the $250/week Newstart Allowance. There are a plethora of these individual contracted-to-government private enterprise services, so many so that they now even have their own peak body, National Employment Services Association. These bodies are paid by the tax payer to do whatever it is they do, which in my own personal experience, is two parts of seven-eights of sweet fuck all for people like me.

If you’re fresh out of school, unskilled or dare I say it, uneducated, then yes, I dare say these bodies can find you a pennywise menial job, thereby justifying their existence. But for someone like me with 40 years experience in banking, finance, people management and training, change management, marketing and business development, these bodies are useless. I have been told to my face that for someone like me, with highly specialised skills and such broad experience, and also at my age (56), there’s not a lot they can do for me. Still, in order to qualify for that necessary $250/week grudgingly granted gratuity, I have to be aligned with one of them.

At my age, I have an initial interview, hand over a copy of my CV, signed a disclosure & privacy statement and get told they don’t need to see me for three months. After that, it’s monthly interviews and feel-good chats about “what would you like to do” or “have you thought about being a cleaner with Absolute Domestics?” Become a cleaner at $18/hour, vacuuming rich people’s homes, cleaning their bath tubs & toilet bowls. Yeh, I have considered that, in fact in January this year, made contact with Absolute Domestics – then thankfully secured a real job through my own contacts. That’s how it works with me, I always get something, it just takes a little time. But this is how the system functions.

Back to Mr Heart-Sucker, and his vaunted Exposure Draft for the proposed 2015 New Employment Services model. If you can find it, I’d like to have a read. I’ve looked and can’t find the thing anywhere. On his website, Heart-Sucker notes:

Details are included in the Exposure Draft for Employment Services 2015-20 Purchasing Arrangements at www.tenders.gov.au and comments on the proposed arrangements are requested by 25 August 2014.

Really?? I looked. Nothing there which points to a draft document. In fact, if you start searching through that website you’ll quickly get lost in a maze of links which are NOT intended for the average voter to be browsing through, but for vested employment services provider enterprises. What’s the point is publically announcing on national radio that comments on the draft exposure document are welcome, if there is no draft exposure document for the public to comment upon?

Yes, I looked at employment.gov.au, and that leads you through a couple of circular URLs to the same end result. There is no draft exposure document, or indeed ANYTHING for Joe Public to look at. The end of the link run results in a Department of Employment page where you’ll find the words:

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to email espurchasing@employment.gov.au or call 1300 733 514 for further information or to reserve a place at an information session.

Interested Stakeholders , what am I, if not an interested stakeholder? I’ll bet pounds to pennies that if I called 1300 733 514 to book an information session, the first question I’d be asked would be “which job services provider are you from?”.

No, this Job Services bullshit is smoke & mirrors, purpose designed to promote an ideological attack against what this government deems to be an unwanted blight on a pleasantly functioning conservative society – the unemployed. Job Service Provider contracts expire 30 June 2015. That industry – for that’s what it has become, an industry all of it’s own fed from the public purse – requires that it’s membership be sustained going forward. The unemployed job-seeker is simply the grease in the cogs of that industry, the tax-payer dollars – all $5.1 billion of them – the fuel which fires the furnaces to keep the cogs grinding.

And please, don’t get me wrong here. I hate, loathe, despise every living moment of being unemployed. I’m luckier than most, I have my superannuation converted to a Transition to Retirement income, meager as that is. I don’t qualify for the full $250/week suck on the tit, and rightly so, but as a tax payer for the 40-odd years of my working life, I have the right to at least a lick on the drips from that nipple. I’ll get work, I always do. I’ll get something I want to do, which pays a meaningful income and provides satisfaction. That’s what having a job is all about. In the meantime, I feel for, and fear for those younger than me who will be more subjected to the degradation and soul-destruction the current social security net and it’s Masters inflict. Don’t believe for a moment that politicians have any answers, they don’t. They only offer lies and a conservative societal lash.

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