New Employment Services Trial (NEST)

The New Employment Services Trial (NEST) was established to test a new model for employment services. The (then) new model was trialled in two regions from 1 July 2019 before being rolled out nationally as Workforce Australia on 4 July 2022.

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The Government made changes to individual referrals in the Trial regions on 16 April 2020.

Where was the Trial held?

The Trial operated in two Employment Regions – Adelaide South in South Australia and Mid North Coast in New South Wales.

What aspects of the new model were trialled?

The Trial tested key aspects of the (then) New Employment Services Model. These include:

  • the new Digital and Enhanced Services offerings
  • new payment structures
  • the Digital Services Employment Fund
  • a new co-designed flexible, points-based mutual obligations system
  • new co-designed aspects of provider performance management
  • aspects of a new job seeker assessment framework
  • the new IT system.

How was the Trial implemented?

From 1 July 2019, job-ready, digitally literate individuals in the trial regions were directed to online services under the Digital First service.

From 1 October 2019, Digital Plus service commenced for job-ready individuals in the trial regions who needed some support to use digital servicing.

From 4 November 2019, providers in the trial regions started delivering the new Enhanced Services for individuals with vocational and non-vocational barriers.

Existing participants in these regions were referred to the trial by their provider.

The department worked with stakeholders in the trial regions and established local working groups and a Reference Group with stakeholders and community organisations to test ideas and learnings from the trial.

More information