|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
For many years prior to the 1980s the Department of Labour and Industry carried out research and analysis in labour market economics. In 1982 this function was substantially broadened to include a concern with employment policy generally with the passage of the Employment and Training Act 1981 (No.9678) which came into effect 1 January 1982. The Act provided for the establishment of a Ministry of Employment and Training to:
assist in the social and economic development of the State through
- promoting and increasing the opportunities for training and retraining in skills required for industry in Victoria
- constant evaluation of training and retraining programmes for industry with particular reference to technological change in industry
- encouraging the application of new technologies and innovation in industry
- identifying the present and likely future employment opportunities in the State
- identifying the present and likely requirements for labour in the various State industries
- co-ordinating Government initiatives in respect of employment and training
facilitate the introduction of new technology in such a way as to minimise adverse social consequences, including
- promoting and assisting the establishment and conduct of small businesses, producer co-operatives, work co-operatives, and group employment initiatives
- encouraging training and retraining that would improve employment opportunities
- examining effective measures to promote employment or alternative work enterprises
review the statistics of employment and unemployment throughout the State and industries of the State and identifying the causes and extent of unemployment
facilitate the employment of disadvantaged persons
assist and encourage the spread of part-time employment and job-sharing schemes.
The Employment and Training Act 1981 also provided for the reconstitution of the Victorian Employment Committee (VA 2583) and the Victorian Technology Advisory Committee (VA 2668). Both Committees were appointed and met for the first time in 1982 - see employment (community consultation) and technological change.
Within its overall employment function the Ministry of Employment and Training (and later the Department of Labour II) exercised responsibility for the following activities:
State Employment Schemes
- Women's Employment schemes (Maths and Science Incentives program, Technical Skills for Girls program)
- Job Link (assistance to long-term unemployed over 25 years of age including funding community projects)
- Job Action (job placement service to place long-term WorkCare claimants into employment - operating in conjunction with the Accident Compensation Commission)
- Work Entry Scheme (pilot scheme, established March 1989, due to finish June 91, to provide placement assistance to young people with intellectual disabilities)
- Workstart Victoria (established March 1991 as part of Victoria First Package, building on the Youth Guarantee Scheme which previously assisted 15 to 18 year olds, to provide assistance to 15 to 24 year olds, including: pre-employment training; youth employment programs; counselling and placement service; career information and education programs).
Labour Market Economics (research, analysis, surveys, forecasts, etc.)
advice and assistance with the recognition of overseas qualifications (the Overseas Qualifications Unit was established March 1989)
provision of Equal Employment Opportunity programs in public authorities pursuant to the Public Authorities (Equal Employment Opportunity) Act 1990 (the Unit was established in May 1991)
In 1985 the employment function passed to the Department of Labour II (VA 2777). Employment policies and programs, labour market research and programs focused on disadvantaged groups, including career counselling and placement services were the responsibility of the Office of Employment within the Department of Labour II.
In February 1992 responsibility passed to the Department of Employment and Training within the Ministry of Employment,Post-Secondary Education and Training (VA 1112).
In December 1992 the Minister for Industry and Employment (VRG 116) assumed responsibility for the employment function. Agency responsibility rested with the Office of Employment within the Department of Business and Employment (VA 3096).
The functions of the Office of Employment were to:
analyse and forecast employment trends and advise and assist in the development and implementation of employment policies;
manage labour market programs focussed on disadvantaged groups, including career counselling and placement services; and
advise on employment policies, particularly in respect to those industries which provide opportunities for employment expansion.
The Employment and Training Act 1981 was repealed by the State Taxation (Amendment) Act 1994 and the Public Authorities (Equal Employment Opportunity) Act was repealed by the Public Sector Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 1998 with all matters previously dealt with by it to be covered by the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998.
As a result of administrative changes made after the 1996 election the Office of Employment became part of the Department for State Development. Subsequent to the 1999 election the Office was moved to the Department of Education, Employment and Training. Its functions for the last ten years have been listed as:
the development and implementation of initiatives and services to improve employment opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians;
the provision of strategic employment advice to businesses looking to invest in Victoria or undergoing change;
research and labour market information to assist with business planning, and
the provision of vocational information and counselling services to migrant Victorians and assessment of overseas qualifications.
Department of Labour, Annual Reports 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92