Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Job Network wrecked by Howard "reforms"

Remember the good old days when the "Reform" meant "Structural improvement towards a better society" instead of "Infrastructure Destruction"?

When the Howard government came in 1996, DH was horrified at the damage being wreaked. But after decades of conservative disinformation belittling anyone with a social conscience as wussy liberals and out-of-touch latte-quaffing chattering elites, DH was humble enough to consider that she and her ilk had somehow got it wrong, that somehow, however counter-intuitive it might seem, a leaner and meaner Australia would deliver a better and happier Australia.

But after 10 years of this horrid social experiment, the results are coming in, and they're not looking good.

The government's much trumpeted "Child Care" reforms have led to unaffordable and unnattainable child care. Public education is reeling, while plummy public schools waste educational funds on landscape gardening.

The Lucky Country is being turned into Workhouse Nation, with the armies of the working poor losing pay and conditions, and the middle classes hanging in by the scruff of their credit cards...

And now for the latest policy failure: DH's alltime favorite journo, Adele Horin, writes in today's SMH, that Job Network is, as was predicted way back when the Howard Brigands were trumpetting their "reforms", an inefficient nightmare in which the poor buggers on the staff have to spend more time covering their arses than looking after the unemployed

Some choice extracts from a survey of over 1100 case managers:

  • JOB NETWORK staff of are sick of having to focus on the demands of the Federal Government, rather than on the needs of their clients.
  • Job seekers are seen "purely as a potential outcome, not as a person in need of guidance or help"
  • the focus on outcomes meant staff concentrated their efforts on the most job-ready people to the detriment of the most disadvantaged.
  • the Dept of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) actually called the clients "stock"!

Nice quote: It's not unlike processing 'cattle', or should I say 'stock', which was the term DEWR sed at the start of the contract to describe their unemployed clients," another case manager said.

Charming, innit?

No comments: