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Snout deep in trough for dodgy job providers

As an Adelaide resume writer, I have watched cash-hungry so-called ‘job providers’ rort the system for years.

They are being paid millions of dollars in public money for work that jobseekers are finding themselves, according to The Guardian.

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has paid providers more than $3.6m in the past five years for pre-existing employment, where someone on jobseeker found a job prior to starting with a provider.

The data shows there has been an uptick in pre-existing employment payments, with providers receiving $1.1m in the 2023-2024 financial year, more than double the $464,200 paid in 2019-2020.

Service providers are allowed to claim outcome payments when clients have completed four, 12 and 26 weeks in employment, regardless of whether the client or provider found the job. Jobseekers signed on to mutual obligations must complete a range of tasks each month – such as job applications, education or training with employment service providers – to continue to receive their welfare payments.

Providers also receive public funding for outcome payments when a jobseeker has found work after signing up with a service. In the 2022-2023 financial year, providers were paid $329.07m for all outcome payments.

Sydney-based Nathan – who asked not to use his full name – used the atWork employment services provider last year for nine months. After he found a job himself as an assistant manager, he let atWork know that he wouldn’t need them as he didn’t need Centrelink moving forward.

Nathan said atWork asked him for pay dates, his salary, weekly hours and manager’s name.

“Centrelink themselves told me it was because they [employment services providers] get bonuses for getting the job for someone,” he said. “When I said I wouldn’t give that information, they put a strike through me, which negated me from getting my final payment.”

Nathan was relying on the final payment before starting work. He says his job provider said he missed three appointments in a week – but Nathan claims he didn’t miss any.

“These appointments, they said, were over the phone and there were no calls, there were no appointments. I didn’t miss any. And three in a week doesn’t make sense.”

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