16 September 2016

Local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King today hosted Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Workforce Participation Ed Husic with a visit to Kwinana to listen to concerns about local unemployment.

At a meeting with jobactive provider Employment Services Group, Ms King and Mr Husic heard about the challenges faced by local jobseekers looking for work, especially mature jobseekers.

The meeting comes on the back of yesterday’s employment figures showing more and more people are giving up looking for work. The underemployment rate has reached its highest rate on record at 9.3 per cent. Participation levels in the workforce are at 64.7 per cent – the lowest it has been in over a year.

“Older jobseekers are finding it especially hard to get new jobs and this is an issue that’s causing great community concern,” Mr Husic said.

“Frankly, it’s an issue not getting anywhere near enough attention in this country and its impact is deeply worrying.

“ESG helped outline to Ms King and I some of the things they are doing to tackle this challenge.”

Ms King said Mr Husic’s visit demonstrated Labor’s commitment to addressing the high unemployment rates in pockets of the community.

Today’s visit showed us that people want to work and are actively seeking work but face challenges including discrimination based on age,” Ms King said.

“While services such as Employment Services Group are working to help people into work, more needs to be done to deal with the barriers jobseekers face.

“Labor knows having a job improves people’s sense of self-worth and connects people to their communities.”

Mr Husic said he prioritised his visit to Western Australia soon after being appointed to his Shadow Ministry role because of the impact of the state’s transition from the mining boom on the WA job market.

“With higher unemployment affecting the confidence of WA jobseekers, I’m particularly keen to learn how the jobactive network is helping secure work for Brand residents.

“This is part of a series of meetings I’m holding across Perth today, listening to groups about the way they’re working to get work for others.”