Jobsbank news

ARC Linkage grant announcement: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create sustainable employment pathways for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups

Sep 8, 2022

Too many australians are locked out of secure work.

It’s a good day at the Jobsbank headquarters. 

Professor Jo Ingold has just notified the research team of the successful outcome of a research project funding under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grants that was in the making for months.

In the early days of the project design, the working group identified that to facilitate pathways for priority groups to move into sustainable and good-quality employment, service providers need to better connect with employers. They also observed how employers are largely absent from research and conversations on how to create these pathways – which usually leads to a lack of understanding of their needs and the levers that can change hiring behaviour and HR practices. 

As a result, despite Australia’s low unemployment rate, too many Australians are locked out of secure, quality work. At the same time, as there are severe labour and skills shortages across Australia, too few businesses are currently engaged with a potential solution: publicly funded employment services. 

Employers’ hiring and work practices pose a critical barrier for disadvantaged Australians, yet employers are disconnected from government employment services. The project will see Deakin University Associate Professor Jo Ingold and University of Sydney Associate Professor Angela Knox collaborating with Jobsbank and other key industry stakeholders to generate new employer-led solutions. 

“We are expecting to create, with employers, successful strategies for recruiting disadvantaged workers into better quality jobs and to co-produce best practice employer engagement toolkits and minimum job quality standards,” says Associate Professor Angela Knox at the Department of Work and Organisation and Academic Director of Professional Development at the University of Sydney.

The project will work with employers and disadvantaged groups to co-design two toolkits to enhance job quality and assist government and employment service providers to better engage employers. 

“The importance of job quality is well recognised by developed countries. However, Australia is yet to invest in creating more ‘good’ jobs,” adds Prof Knox. “Improving job quality is central to our recovery from the pandemic as it increases workers’ socioeconomic wellbeing and spurs productivity and innovation at organisation, industry and national levels”.

“Despite low unemployment, this is a time of profound crisis for the labour market all across the country,” Associate Professor Jo Ingold from the Department of Management, Faculty of Business & Law said. “Now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the recruitment and selection process and to change employment for the better.”

About Jobsbank At Jobsbank, we are passionate about inclusion and the difference it makes – not just to one person but to teams and whole organisations. We believe in an Australia where everybody belongs. That’s why we’re helping businesses and employers make sustainable organisational change by adopting more inclusive hiring and procurement practices. We work to build the business case for inclusive employment and to help government social procurement frameworks fulfil their potential. 


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Jobsbank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to their culture, their connections to Country and community, and to Elders past, present and emerging.