Job-seekers anywhere in Australia who receive the payment with the Orwellian name Newstart must demonstrate that they are out looking for “suitable” paid work, going to job interviews and accepting “suitable” offers, but all this activity won’t hold them up long in Mount Druitt.
Here, there are almost as many job agencies as jobs: seven agencies, in fact, and twelve full-time jobs when I last checked. There’s so little work around that hundreds of people rush to Coles or Woollies if they advertise a casual position for a cashier or trolley collector. But the unemployment industry is thriving, as it is in many other areas where joblessness is over 10 per cent, not least because the government pays the agencies fees, whether the people on their books get a job or not.
That’s how it’s been since the Howard government privatised the old Commonwealth Employment Service, or CES, in 1998. What had been a public service was chopped up into market shares and assigned to non-profit and commercial providers. By now the biggest single share – nudging 10 per cent – is in the hands of MAXNetWork Pty Ltd (which trades as MAX Employment), the wholly owned subsidiary of an American corporation. The company’s financial statement filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission shows that in the year to 30 September 2010, MAXNetWork collected about $125 million in fees and about $41 million in related payments from the government, a reliable revenue stream that contributed to after-tax profits of $30.4 million that year.
I wanted to highlight this figure re: the constant resistance to actually investing in regional economies and educational equality. Oh but we can’t! God forbid anyone “waste” state funds by investing a cent on reskilling laid off workers in capital flight centers, or educating and formally recognizing the existing skills of employment ready/desperate minorities!
ETA: the article describes some Islander jobseekers as “Easter Island size”. There are ways for writers to scene set and evoke people without emphasizing and racializing their size. Large is relative. Many Anglo whites have large builds compared to Asian persons, but would they consider being called “Stonehenge size” more rude/confusing than snappily descriptive? Y/N?
- materialworld posted this