Massive cuts and outsourcing planned for CES
By Paul Oboohov
CANBERRA — Massive cuts to the CES are planned by the government, according to the July 24 Canberra Times and Financial Review. They quoted an interdepartmental committee report and a submission to the Expenditure Review Committee from employment and education minister Amanda Vanstone and social security minister Jocelyn Newman endorsing the cuts.
Also planned are amalgamation of parts of the CES with the DSS and the privatisation of job brokerage/placement functions. The cuts include:
- further staff cuts to DEETYA of 3000 to 8000;
- further cuts to labour market programs of $600 million;
- a labour market programs delivery corporatised agency operating on the same terms as private agencies;
- unemployed placement to be privatised;
- case management of long-term unemployed to be opened to private placement agencies beyond the current 30% of such job seekers.
Further cuts are rumoured to be in store after the budget, some of these rumours having been created by an area manager who spoke too loudly. Overheard, among other things, were plans for 60 more CES offices to close and for more CES amalgamations.
The DEETYA secretary wrote on July 26 to all staff in response to the media reports, trying to calm the situation down. However, he admitted that employment services and case management are going to be provided by "a multiplicity of players", that there would be joint service delivery with DSS, and that this could have "implications for staffing numbers".