Best practice models in employment services provision

Exploring how to assist very long term unemployed jobseekers with complex challenges into employment

The development of a recognised and tested model of professional practice for assisting very long-term unemployed people back to work constitutes a ‘gold standard’ objective for Australia’s employment support services system. This is particularly in the context of recent reforms which have seen a sizeable increase in the proportion of providers’ caseloads that is very long-term unemployed and experiencing complex and multiple employment challenges.

To date, individual agencies are relied upon to create and validate their own practice models. There is little systematic (publicly available) evidence about ‘what works’ in employment services delivery, nor a recognised and testable service delivery model for supporting highly disadvantaged jobseekers into sustained employment.

A blue and orange Joblink plus logo

To address this, Joblink Plus is partnering with the Australian Welfare and Work Lab on a multi-year study of ‘trauma-informed’ approaches to employment services. Joblink Plus is a for purpose, not for profit organisation, that provides employment services and vocational training to a range of communities across rural and regional NSW.

Over the past five years, it has been evolving how it delivers employment services to embed trauma-informed practice at its core. The project will map the key features of this practice model, trace how it has been developed over time and embedded across the organisation and undertake longitudinal research on how it is being put into practice by frontline staff and with participants at the local level.

In addition, the project will also benchmark this trauma-informed practice model against other leading international ‘best practice’ examples of relational practice and co-creation models of employment services.