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Function VF 139
Employment service
About this Function Related Agencies Related Groups
 
Is this the right Function?Is this the right Function?
  • Use this Function for
    Registration of unemployed persons and distribution of available Government contract work and some work
    Labour Bureau
    Government Labour Exchange

  • Do not use this Function for
    Employment services provided to assisted British immigrants - use immigration (20th century)

    Unemployment relief works

    Sustenance

    Registration of employment agencies

 
Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function
Background

In the 1880's the situation of the unemployed was a regular topic of discussion in Parliament. The initial response of the Government was to direct the Minister of Public Works and the Railway Commissioners to ascertain how they could provide employment in the carrying out of their contracts.

In 1892 a Labour Bureau was established in the Public Works Department "in order to meet the great depression" and "with a view of organizing the unemployed". The Labour Bureau undertook the registration of unemployed men and distribution of available government contract work. By 1896 the Labour Bureau was located within the Railway Department. In 1900 the Labour Bureau appears to have passed back to the Public Works Department.

Around this time the Railway Department issued free railway passes and the Mines Department issued free mining licences to men looking for mining work in country areas.

In 1911 the Labour Bureau was amalgamated with the Immigration Department (otherwise known as the Intelligence Bureau). The Immigration and Labour Bureau, within the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538), administered the British immigrant nomination scheme including the provision of reception, initial settlement and employment services to British immigrants, and co-ordination of overseas promotion and emigration assistance. It also undertook the registration and placement of unemployed Victorian workers although the Hansard for 1912 indicates that the placement of immigrants may have been given a higher priority.

In 1918 responsibility for the functions of the Immigration and Labour Bureau passed from the Minister for Lands (VRG 18) to the Minister for Labour (VRG 42) and hence to the administration of the Department of Labour I (VA 2874). Responsibility for immigration passed to the Minister of Immigration I (VRG 44) in 1923.

From 1923 a Labour Exchange continued under the administration of the Minister of Labour. The Labour Exchange undertook the registration of unemployed persons for temporary or casual employment, principally as artisans and labourers, on Government works. The Exchange also undertook to supply workmen for employment and advanced railway tickets to applicants who themselves obtained employment in country districts.

The Government Labour Exchange closed in March 1942. It is evident that from this time the Commonwealth Manpower authorities assumed responsibility for employment as part of its wartime administration. Officers of the Labour Exchange transferred to the Commonwealth National Service Offices.



 
Related FunctionsRelated Functions
  • Related Functions
    Display entries per page
    Function Title Function Number
    Immigration (twentieth century) VF 138
    Private employment agencies, registration of VF 355
    Sustenance VF 358
    Unemployment relief works VF 274
    Welfare services VF 252
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  • Narrower Functions
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Other InformationOther Information
 
Agencies with prime responsibility for this FunctionAgencies with prime responsibility for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
- 1896 Public Works Department (previously the Department of the Commissioner of Public Works) VA 669
1896 - 1900 Victorian Railways (also Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973, Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983) VA 2876
1900 - 1911 Public Works Department (previously the Department of the Commissioner of Public Works) VA 669
1911 - 1918 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
1918 - cont Department of Labour I VA 2874
 
Other Agencies responsible for this FunctionOther Agencies responsible for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
 
Groups related to this FunctionGroups related to this Function
Display entries per page
Date of Responsibility Group Title Group Number
- 1896 Public Works VRG 28
1896 - 1900 Railways VRG 32
1900 - 1911 Public Works VRG 28
1911 - 1918 Lands VRG 18
1918 - 1942 Labour and Industry VRG 42
1942 - cont Not Otherwise Classified - Commonwealth VRG 87
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