Reading the Tea Leaves: What the Workforce Australia Inquiry might mean for Disability Employment Services

In August last year the Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services was established to look into “the implementation, performance and appropriateness of Workforce Australia Employment Services and other relevant pre-employment and complementary programs”. At the Minister’s request, the Committee first turned its attention to ParentsNext, a pre-employment program for parents and carers of young children, releasing their interim report in February of this year. While the Committee’s terms of reference do not include direct consideration of the DES program, many of the issues raised in relation to ParentsNext are relevant to Disability Employment Services, as well as Workforce Australia Employment Services.

Using the ParentsNext Interim Report as an indicator of Committee thinking, I will:
1. identify issues relating to service delivery that are relevant to DES; and
2. invite participants to share their thoughts and insights as to the implications for the DES program as a whole, or their organisation.


Dr Ann Nevile Honorary Associate Professor, The Australian National University, Australia

Dr Ann Nevile is an Honorary Associate Professor at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. As a qualitative social policy researcher, Ann has spend over twenty years analysing the interaction between employment frameworks, how they are implemented, and the subsequent impact on outcomes. A particular focus of her research is service quality – how it is defined and how it can be measured. Ann has published a number of articles and reports which explore this issue from the perspective of job seekers and employers and has been invited to provide expert evidence to several Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Inquiries, including the current inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services.