Performance metrics are important indicators of Workforce Australia’s effectiveness and impact. With the latest performance data just released, we’re here to provide you with some of the findings and insights so you don’t have to sift through spreadsheets!

Workforce Australia’s Provider Performance Framework comprises five modules aimed at ensuring tailored, quality services for participants and employers, fostering innovation, and upholding providers’ obligations and standards. With 177 licenses distributed among 42 employment services providers across 50 regions, the framework aims to be a comprehensive tool for evaluation and improvement. The performance data is reported on a quarterly basis.

The good news is that we’re heading in the right direction. On average, most employment service providers are improving. The number of providers scoring ‘low’ is decreasing, with more providers moving into the ‘moderate’ and ‘high’ ratings. While performance on the Sustained Employment module has the fewest ‘highs’, the majority of providers are rated ‘high’ on Licensing Standards. The Progress to Employment module also has the most ‘lows’. There are two license specialisations not experiencing much change – Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Refugees – with a total of 13 licenses and a substantial number allocated in Victoria. This reflects the challenges of working with CALD cohorts, who experience barriers such as low-level English literacy skills and backgrounds of trauma.

We’re also particularly pleased to see an increase in overall ‘high’ ratings for the Indigenous License Specialisation. With the latest data showing that only five of 19 Close the Gap targets are on track, the employment services sector has an important role to play and needs to continually engage with First Nations people and Indigenous organisations to drive the scale of change required.

So who stands out? Workskil Australia in Adelaide North is working with job seekers who are ex-offenders and is the only employment services provider to score an overall rating of ‘high’ across all three quarters. It’s especially pleasing that Workskil has delivered sustained employment for this cohort and is the only provider with the Ex-Offender License Specialisation achieving this high standard. Interestingly, Workskil Australia offers another program called Work Ready, Release Ready which supports participants with training and skills-building opportunities while incarcerated and post-release.

Another standout is TURSA on the North Coast, with three licenses—generalist, Indigenous, and Ex-Offender—all rated overall ‘high’, an improvement on the previous moderate ratings. TURSA was founded in 1994 out of the personal experience of long-term unemployment and today has a workforce of approximately 300 staff and offices spanning from Forster to Noosaville. There are only four licenses on the North Coast, with TURSA’s three rated ‘high’.

Brisbane South East has the highest number of low-performing providers as of December 2023, but overall, the region has improved in the six-month period. There are a total of eight licenses including two Indigenous and one Ex-Offender. Only one provider, (Indigenous), has an overall rating of ‘high’, with four rated as ‘moderate’ and three rated as ‘low’. Other low performers included the WA regional areas of the Great Southern Wheatbelt and Kalgoorlie. There are three licenses across this regional area, and all are performing low in December 2023, although performance ratings have fluctuated over the three periods.

At Prospert, we’re particularly interested in the ‘Quality of Service to Employers Module’ which assesses the provider’s success in delivering high-quality services to employers. It’s measured by a Service Delivery Assessment completed by employers and a qualitative assessment of the Provider’s success in supporting participants in submitting quality job applications to employers.

As of December 2023, only 3% of licenses were rated ‘high’ in the Service Delivery Assessment – Employers, with the majority (95%) rated ‘moderate’. Almost all providers rated high (94%) on Job Search Quality. In addition, only 3% of licenses received a ‘high’ on Participant Servicing Rate. Prospert is working with providers to integrate these performance metrics into business intelligence systems and dashboards providing an opportunity to better understand and improve this data.

Overall, the latest performance data highlights encouraging trends within the employment services sector. While challenges persist, there are strong signs that the sector is performing well despite the turbulence and uncertainty in policy. Prospert understands the important role that performance metrics play in driving improvement and demonstrating impact. Talk to us about our work in business intelligence and program turnarounds if you’d like to build your performance in 2024. Contact us to find out more.