/ Vision

Opportunity for all
through employment
and inclusion

Opportunity For All

Our way of life is articulated around earning. Having an adequate income allows us to participate in the benefits society has to offer through the purchase of goods and services in line with our needs, desires and aspirations.

Being jobless is not just being out of work, it means having diminished capacity to tend to one’s basic needs: food, clothing, housing; it means isolation and social exclusion, reduced possibilities for human interaction; it means limited opportunities to do anything to improve one’s own situation, and worst of all, opportunities that narrow the longer one remains out of work.

The mission of the Australian employment services, and of NESA as the peak body for the sector, is to turn this cycle around: to enable those who are not participating fully in Australian society to rediscover their independence, their self-esteem, and their sense of purpose; to re-enter the mainstream of Australian society and to feel once again that their contribution is valued, their efforts bear fruit, and they have a voice. The work carried out by our dedicated members is often hard – the individual barriers that need to be overcome are often high – but the human rewards are great. Every person returned to the workforce is a life turned around, and the employment services teams and frontline employment consultants who do this work know how important their efforts are, to individual clients, to society as a whole, and to the Australian economy.

Leaving no one behind, the job ahead

Participation Rate by Age

Australia 2018


Participating (%)

Not Participating (%)

Participation Rate by Cohort – Australia

Whole Population (2018)
Cultural and Linguistically Distinct (2016)
People with Disability (2017)
Indigenous (2018)

Participating (%)

Not Participating (%)

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery

Gender Breakdown of the Australia Labour Force


Employed Full-Time (5.3 million)
Employed Part-Time (1.2 million)
Unemployed (0.4 million)
Not In The Labour Force (2.9 million)


Male Employed Full-Time (5.3 million)
Employed Full-Time (3.1 million)
Employed Part-Time (2.6 million)
Unemployed (0.4 million)
Not In The Labour Force (4.1 million)

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6202.0 Labour Force Australia, Table 1. Labour force status by Sex, Australia – Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original (Jan 2018, original figures).

Realising Our Vision

Highlights from the Year in Review

Achievements from NESA submissions and advocacy

Tap tiles to reveal more

Employment Fund

Improved flexibility of the Employment Fund in relation to Indigenous job seekers

Rapid Response

Establishment of a rapid response framework for redundant workers

DES Reform

Ensuring people with a disability have had a voice in the DES reform consultation process

Digital Innovation

Ensuring that new directions in digitalisation are piloted prior to full roll-out.

Digital Literacy

Additional investment in job seekers’ digital literacy through an online employment services trial and a Job Seeker Classification Index (JSCI) trial.

Long-term Unemployed

Improved support for job seekers who are, or who are at risk of becoming, long term unemployed through additional places in the Transition to Work program.

Mature Job Seekers

Commitment of an investment package of $189 million in the 2018 Budget to provide greater support to mature-age job seekers.

Employment Services 2020

Ensuring a robust consultation framework for Australia’s employment services 2020 through the establishment of the Expert Panel and the consultation framework, including initial provider round tables.

Equitable Access to Programs

Assuring the early full roll out of the Career Transition Assistance (CTA) program; adoption of general equity principles such as making ParentsNext intensive services available based on participant needs/eligibility criteria in all locations.

We have additionally made headway in the following areas

Tap tiles to reveal more

Remote Australia Employment Services

Additional investment in remote Australia employment services will feature in the Community Development Program reform consultation.

Assessment and Streaming

Improving assessment and streaming principles will be a major focus of DES and employment services 2020 reforms.

Wage Subsidies

Additional wage subsidies were announced in the 2018 Budget.

Timely Provision

We continue to advocate for service standards that ensure timely provision of quality assessments.


NESA hosted high level international delegations from countries including:


Implementation of a Human Resources blueprint for Malaysia following the World Bank supported visit of the Malaysian Minister for Human Resources, the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Human Resources, the Secretary of the National Wages Consultative Council and key stakeholders of the Malaysian HR Development Fund in February.


Establishment of an analogue body to NESA in Finland following the visit of a delegation from the Finnish Ministry of Employment in March.


Developments in the outsourcing of employment services in Sweden following the delegation from the Swedish Employment Services sector in April.

South Korea

Ongoing consultancy with interested sector delegates and organisations in South Korea.


Policy Support

2700+ Call/Emails

…for policy support.

300+ Members

…gained policy insights and contributed to policy positions through their participation in Special Interest Groups, Taskforces, Working and Advisory Groups.

3000+ Subscribers

…were kept regularly informed of policy development through NESA communications.

Sector Capacity building

NESA continued to support the sector to advance employment inclusion in 2017-18:

2350+ Sector Leaders and Frontline Staff

…gained skills and knowledge through NESA’s professional development and coaching programs, workshops and webinars throughout the year.

800+ Member Representatives

…benefited from NESA events and forums.

740+ Employment Services Practitioners

…registered for the Practitioner Toolbox.