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Bleak future for job services sector

The awarding of Government employment service contracts to large, profit-driven overseas organisations will deprive local, non-profit organisations of revenue they put back into social services, say the Australian Greens.

"With the very real possibility of recession hanging over their head, the Government seem more interested in privatising our social services sector, pushing profits overseas and jeopardizing successful community organisations," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"We're hearing at this point thousands of people will be made unemployed by offering these tenders to for-profit providers."

"At the time when the Prime Minister is expressing a great deal of concern over jobs and re-building our economy, we have actions of his own Government making a number of people unemployed who provide valuable services to our community."

"You would think this Government would have learned its lesson after the debacle surrounding ABC Learning & Childcare facilities - strong communities are not built on a profit-driven base," said Senator Siewert.

"The only way to make employment services cheaper, and therefore more profitable, is by cutting corners on training and by putting rapid outcomes ahead of ensuring job seekers are placed into long term employment. This will not benefit those people most in need."

"Those charities that provide employment services will be hit hard by the Federal Government's changes to the sector. Particularly at risk are charities that provide wrap around services - extending far beyond the Government contracts for employment services. If overseas firms are awarded tenders, job seekers will lose the benefit of being able to access employment help and social services altogether."

"The government will be directly sending hundreds, if not thousands, of people into unemployment when they take the services away from these community organisations," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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