The Tasmanian Jobs Programme Evaluation

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australian government department of employment logodecorative

The Tasmanian Jobs Programme Evaluation

June 2017

Evaluation team

Shelley Evans

Anne Aisbett

Karen Costanzo

Sacha Stokes


978-1-76051-112-8 [PDF]
978-1-76051-113-5 [DOCX]

creative commons

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Department’s logo, any material protected by a trade mark and where otherwise noted all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia ( licence.

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence (

The document must be attributed as The Tasmanian Jobs Programme Evaluation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents 4

List of tables 5

List of figures 6

Abbreviations and Acronyms 7

Executive Summary 8

Key Findings 8

Low program take-up 8

Positive sustained employment and income support outcomes 9

Summary 10

1.Introduction 11

1.1.Scope 11

1.2.Methodology 11

1.2.1.The study population 11

1.2.2.Outcome measures 12

1.3.Data sources 12

2.Background 15

2.1.The Tasmanian Jobs Programme 15

2.2.Wage subsidy programs in Job Services Australia 15

2.3.The Tasmanian Labour Market 18

2.3.1.Labour market conditions 18

2.3.2.Industries 19

2.3.3.Labour force profile 20

2.4.The Tasmanian JSA caseload 23

2.5.Effectiveness of wage subsidies – evidence from other programs 24

2.5.1.Objectives of wage subsidy programs 24

1.Additionality 24

2.Improved employment outcomes 26

3.Sustainable employment 26

2.5.2.Targeting to reduce deadweight 27

4.Job seekers 27

5.Business size 29

2.5.3.Design of the Tasmanian Jobs Programme 29

3.Demand for the Tasmanian Jobs Programme 30

3.1.Take-up of Tasmanian Jobs Programme placements 30

3.1.1.Take-up rate 30

3.1.2.Placement characteristics 31

6.Location 32

7.Industries and skill level 33

8.Job seeker characteristics 34

9.Combination with other wage subsidies 36

3.2.Factors affecting take-up of the program 36

3.2.1.Tasmanian labour market conditions 36

3.2.2.Program awareness 36

3.2.3.Employer attitudes 38

3.2.4.Program design 40

10.Full-time placement requirement 41

11.Amount of subsidy payment 42

12.26 week payment schedule 43

13.Employer attitudes towards the target population 43

4.Outcomes achieved 45

4.1.Employment outcomes 45

4.2.Reliance on income support 46

4.3.Proportion of job seekers unemployed six months or longer 47

5.Policy implications 50

5.1.How effective was the program? 50

5.2.Lessons learned and recommendations 51

References 54

Appendix A Statistical tables 58

List of tables 58

List of tables

List of figures

Abbreviations and Acronyms

ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics

AME Average Marginal Effect

DEETYA Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs

DEEWR Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

DES Disability Employment Services

DHS Department of Human Services

DSP Disability Support Pension

EPF Employment Pathway Fund

GFC Global Financial Crisis

JSA Job Services Australia

JSCI Job Seeker Classification Instrument

LEC Local Employment Coordinator

LTU Long-term Unemployed

MTU Medium-term Unemployed

RED Research and Evaluation Dataset

TJP Tasmanian Jobs Programme

VLTU Very Long-Term Unemployed

Executive Summary

The Tasmanian labour market is among the weakest in Australia, characterised by high unemployment (especially of youth) and underemployment rates; a higher proportion of jobs that are lower-skilled and part-time; a labour force that is older and has lower levels of education; and high levels of long-term unemployment (LTU; i.e. unemployed for 12 months or longer).

This report examines the effectiveness of the Tasmanian Jobs Programme (TJP), a pilot wage subsidy program introduced as a two year trial on 1 January 2014. It became available in Job Services Australia (JSA) and Disability Employment Services (DES) on 1 January 2014 and ended on 31 December 2015. The jobactive model of employment services replaced the JSA model for the last six months of the TJP. It was designed with the objective of helping Tasmanian job seekers who were, or were at risk of being, LTU to find sustained employment. The program included $5.9 million in funding for 2,000 placements over two years to December 2015.

As originally implemented, the TJP was available for full-time positions to job seekers who had, for the preceding six months or more, been Tasmanian residents and in receipt of Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance (Other), or Parenting Payment with participation requirements. On 13 May 2015, as part of the ‘Growing Jobs and Small Business Package’ announced in the 2015 ─ 16 Budget, changes were made to the TJP by increasing subsidy payments available for full-time positions and making part-time positions eligible for the TJP.

This evaluation addressed the key question of interest of how effective the TJP had been in providing sustained employment opportunities for Tasmanian job seekers who had been unemployed for six months or more. TJP outcomes are assessed against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established for the program. The report also draws on employer and employment service provider surveys to provide context on the use and perceived usefulness of the TJP (and wage subsidies more generally) as a labour market assistance tool.

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