Employment agency’s low score

VICTORIA NUGENT, Townsville Bulletin

ONE  of Townsville’s biggest job agencies has received dismal ratings in a newly released Department of Employment report card.

Max Employment has rec­eived one-star ratings for its Kirwan and Townsville services and two stars for its Aitkenvale operation.

The ratings were revealed in a document outlining the September star ratings of job­active providers across the country.

Townsville’s other two job­active providers are NEATO Emp­loyment Services and CoAct. NEATO scored five stars at Aitkenvale and Thuringowa Central offices and CoAct received an overall rating of five stars for its Aitkenvale service and four stars each for Thuringowa Central and West End.

A Department of Employment spokesman said sites with higher ratings had achieved higher levels of sustained employment placements for their job seekers, particularly ones that had seen job seekers stay off income support for 26 consecutive weeks.

Sites with higher ratings have also to a greater degree ensured that job seekers have been actively engaged in act­ivities through the Work for the Dole phase.

“The Townsville region is broadly consistent with nat­ional performance, having the full range of individual site ratings from one to five stars but the majority receiving three stars or above,” the spokesman said. “As the star ratings methodology is a relative one, there will be some providers which outperform others.

“The public reporting of the star ratings can drive improvements in performance. Job seekers are also able to use star ratings when they choose their jobactive provider.”

The spokesman said guidelines for the jobactive program noted that business re-allocation was based on data from the 18-month mark, to be reached on December 31, 2016.

“The department will look at the full range of factors (inc­luding star ratings) in every ­region in Australia in determining which business will be re-allocated,” he said. “The star ratings are ­designed to drive performance improvement with providers and we expect that those with one and two star ratings will be looking to improve their performance relative to other ­providers.”

Max Employment did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.