Working Groups and Consultation
We advocate for our industry through coordinated and considered strategic engagement, underpinned by evidence-informed and member-driven best practice.
To ensure our responses reflect both the diversity of views across the industry we consult extensively with members and incorporate feedback into submissions. If you are a NESA Corporate Member and interested in participating in any of these member consultations, please subscribe now or contact our Policy Team
Member Policy Consultation and Engagement Processes
NESA advocacy on behalf of our members in the Employment Services Industry is shaped and informed by a range of member consultation and engagement processes alongside other evidence gathering and policy analysis methods. Member consultation and engagement processes include:
Working Groups and Taskforce Groups
These groups are exclusive to NESA corporate members. They provide a regular forum for members to discuss key issues, opportunities and challenges for a specific programme area, cohort or crosscutting issue. They involve information sharing plus identification of actions to address concerns such as NESA representations to relevant Departments and Ministers or development of capacity building products. NESA aims to be responsive to the diverse matters addressed in these groups and to member interests, therefore structures and patterns for the groups differ.
The IT Reference and Reports Group
Reviews technical, systems and reporting requirements for current issues and future developments in employment services for providers and Departments. The objective is to assist in problem resolution, practice improvement and input to design and operations to meet needs for workflow, business operations and performance and contract management. Meetings are held quarterly or as deemed necessary, are always face-to-face and are facilitated by NESA but hosted by Department of Employment in Canberra. There are opportunities for industry caucus sessions as well as interactive discussions with Departmental officers. To find out more or get involved please contact Marg Lourey.
Youth Jobs Working Group
This revised group will initially focus on implementation of Youth Jobs PaTH. This group will offer providers the opportunity to identify and address operational challenges, identify opportunities for alignment between programmes, and share, test and discuss issues with implementation of the new programme. This group replaces a previous youth focussed group that informed the development of the TTW policy. Collectively, this group will help NESA and our members maintain a current picture of how the various youth employment initiatives and policies are travelling and enable early identification of risks. The group will primarily meet by teleconference on at least a quarterly basis. It will meet more frequently as required to inform priority actions addressing common issues. To find out more or get involved please contact Vanessa Puopolo.
The Disability Employment Services (DES) Taskforce
The Disability Employment Services (DES) Taskforce is an opportunity for members to share views about the DES programme. Recently the key focus for advocacy in the DES space has been the design of a future DES system post 2018 and responding to government consultation. This focus was addressed through face to face NESA forums involving the Department of Social Services and Minster. Recent NESA submissions on DES reflect the views of members. In addition to future forums, the taskforce will be convened by teleconference to respond to the pending decisions on the future of DES, the ongoing development of detailed design and tender processes as well as ongoing operational concerns. To find out more or get involved please contact Vanessa Puopolo.
The jobactive Taskforce
This taskforce is made up of senior management and organisation leaders implementing jobactive. This group meets through teleconference as frequently as required which was bi-weekly when informing significant advocacy and was in abeyance during the Government’s caretaker period. This group provided valuable evidence and impetus to inform NESA’s successful advocacy on reducing the administration burden related to Work for the Dole amongst other matters. Several issues raised by this group with the Minister of Employment are being progressed through the jobactive guideline review. To find out more or get involved please contact Vanessa Puopolo
Serious Incident Taskforce
This high level taskforce will look to work with senior Department staff to clarify the extent and nature of problems related to serious incidents and to develop strategies and policy changes that allow providers to manage serious incidents safely and effectively. To find out more or get involved please contact Vanessa Puopolo.
The Community Development Programme (CDP) Special Interest Group
The Community Development Programme (CDP) Special Interest Group has been informed through its close relationships with CDP providers. NESA has engaged with recent policy developments in this space through developing effective links with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and investment in both exploring key policy decision and recognising good practice initiatives. This work is evident in recent submissions to both the Department and a related senate inquiry. To find out more or get involved please contact Matt Clarke or Alicia Weiderman.
Following recent federal budget announcements, this working group has been established to support providers through the expansion of this existing programme. Various supports will be made available to members including tender support, programme roll out and implementation more broadly. To find out more or get involved please contact Vanessa Puopolo.
Member Outreach and Surveys
NESA regularly conducts structured interviews with a representative range of members in response to particular issues of concern or programme milestones. We also conduct wider member surveys on some issues where appropriate, for example, we conducted a quantitative survey on the financial performance of jobactive providers creating an overview of the state of the sector. Information that NESA gathers through these methods complements advice from special interest groups, queries to the policy helpdesk and department data. Outreach and survey information has proved a valuable tool for gaining insight into what is happening at the ground and its use in NESA representations directly informs improvements in policy development and operations.
Hot Topic and Leaders Forums
NESA forums are designed to offer members valuable information and strategic advice about developments in the Employment Services and related Industry. They provide an opportunity for members to share their reflections, concerns and recommendations with NESA, relevant Departmental staff and Ministers. NESA design their forums to be solution focussed and the discussions arising at these forums frequently prove to be productive change agents.
Future NESA Groups, Forums and Investigations
NESA aims to provide solution focused, relevant and up-to-date advocacy and support for members. This means the approach to member consultation and engagement is flexible. While some groups have an ongoing monitoring and sharing function, other groups may have their issues resolved and come to an end. There are also emerging issues that require new attention. In future we anticipate undertaking member engagement and consultation activity around the following matters:
- Employment services performance frameworks including quality assurance and contract compliance across all programmes.
- Workforce development including consideration of policy changes that impact on capacity and capability of staff in employment services.
- Employer engagement including identification of emerging good practice.
- Strategies to support Indigenous job seekers including those in remote, regional and urban populations and consideration of the ways in which Australia can close the gap in employment outcomes. A recent NESA members’ only forum on this topic connected members with employers and highlighted how organisations can benefit from the opportunities presented by government procurement.