The Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel

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    In January 2018 an independent Expert Advisory Panel was appointed to help shape the design of employment services in Australia. The panel was chaired by Mrs Sandra McPhee AM.

    Members of the panel included business, provider, and welfare group representatives, as well as a labour market economist and an expert in business transformation. The list of members is below:

    List of members

    Name Position Organisation
    Sandra McPhee AM - Chair Non-Executive Director St. Vincent’s Health Australia
    Caryn Katsikogianis Chief People Officer Woolworths Group
    Peter Davidson Senior Adviser Australian Council of Social Services
    Chris Blake Executive General Manager, Group Services Australia Post
    Prof. Jeff Borland Truby Williams Professor of Economics University of Melbourne
    Nick Debere Interim CEO Jobs Australia
    Sally Sinclair CEO National Employment Services Association
    Allan McCallum Chairman Tassal
    Wally Tallis Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer Indigenous Business Australia
    Matt O’Sullivan Employment and Workforce Development Specialist  
    Dr Susan Neuhaus CSC President Minda Inc
    Robert Pennicott Managing Director Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
    Karen Sheldon AM Managing Director Karen Sheldon Catering
    Jenny Lambert Director, Employment Education and Training Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Kate Carnell AO Ombudsman Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
    Martin Hehir Deputy Secretary Department of Jobs and Small Business

    I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020 Report

    The Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel’s report I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020 was provided to the then Government on 15  October 2018.

    The panel’s report provided an overview of the performance of the employment service at the time, jobactive. It highlighted numerous opportunities to enhance employment service delivery by simplification, harnessing the use of digital technology and cutting red tape, based on stakeholder feedback. This report formed the basis for the development of the model that would become Workforce Australia.


    The panel’s report was informed by extensive consultation held across Australia with:

    • businesses
    • providers (training, education and employment)
    • individuals, including those on income support
    • community organisations (including housing, health and welfare)
    • unions
    • think tanks/academia
    • industry
    • other governments (state and local).

    During the consultation period:

    • more than 560 people attended 23 roundtables and community forums held in metropolitan and regional centres
    • 556 people participated in design research workshops, focus groups or one-on-one interviews
    • 450 submissions were received in response to the public consultation paper 'The Next Generation of Employment Services 2020'

    A summary of stakeholder feedback is available in The Nous Group Report, Employment Services 2020: Consultation report.

    User Centred Design

    The department collaborated with user-centred design experts, ThinkPlace, to consult with stakeholders of the employment services system.

    The information gained from this research was provided to the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel for their consideration. Panel members also participated as observers during the research to hear first-hand from individuals seeking employment  and other stakeholders.

    Public Discussion Paper (June 2018)

    The then, Department of Jobs and Small Business released ‘The Next Generation of Employment Services: Discussion Paper’ in June 2018. The paper was informed by the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel, national and international research, and intensive co-design with stakeholders including job seekers, employers, and employment service providers