National unemployment rates are expected to increase to 10% by June 2020.   How does the employment services industry best prepare for a flood of new registrations this will bring?   The short answer is making use of local government data and cross-matching this against industries suffering downturns.  Providers are then in a more powerful position to prepare for new arrivals – including knowing which employers to target that require transferable skills.

Unemployment rates and jobactive numbers

For the past three years, unemployment rates trended steadily downwards to around 5%.  With March 2020 figures available on 16th April, economists tip a rise to 5.7%.  The trend is upward and is forecast to peak at 10% by June 2020.   For employment service providers, jobactive participants – which currently number close to 700,000 – should climb to one million or more from mid-May onwards.   The Federal Government is supporting the newly unemployed by directing them to the new Jobs Hub portal (Jobs Hub).   However, this will not make a significant dent until key industry sectors begin hiring again.

Advance understanding of your new participants

The newly unemployed are vastly different from most current jobactive participants.   As a general rule, from an employer’s perspective, their recent work experience, skills, and motivation to find paid employment makes them a very attractive proposition.  This should excite employment services providers who are being presented with a windfall of high-quality participants.

An opportunity like this is not without its challenges. How do you triage your new participants into those with transferable skills that match current employment opportunities?   One way to undertake this challenging task is to do your research.   Each Local Government entity has demographic data on its citizens.  This provides insights into their previous employment by industry.  Understanding this, you can anticipate your new participants’ likely employment background before they arrive based on your local knowledge of which industries are in hibernation.  For example, you might forecast 100 participants arriving in the next three months with contact centre experience.

Match new participants to employment opportunities

Armed with this knowledge in advance, you are in a strong position to engage local employers.   If you are proactive in your approach, employers will value getting a “first look” at these participants before they look elsewhere.  It might make all the difference in having a moderate successfully winter compared to a winter of discontent.

Further ideas

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