Job Guarantee(JG) – The Jobs – Federally Funded – Locally Delivered

A JG’s purpose is to find a mechanism for anyone unemployed  to work and benefit from the JG job, while doing something useful for the community as a whole.

We need an on-going Job Guarantee Program urgently. The current Coronavirus epidemic and its social end economic ill-effects are destructive beyond any thing seen in modern times. Standing by and witnessing the incredible wastage of potential labour that unemployment epitomises is surely never going to be a better strategy than putting that labour to work on public programs.  

A JG is not run for profit. It produces public goods and services but its reason for existence is about  serving the needs of the community,  the environment and people and to enhance the public good.

How do we pay for a JG? The only constraint that a currency-issuing government, such as the Australian government faces, is how many real goods and services are available for sale in $A.   See the most effective way to achieve a Fair Go

A Job Guarantee job is real work

A JG job has job requirements generally similar to those in the private sector or government sectors. If someone doesn’t come to work or ignores workplace health and safety requirements or otherwise doesn’t work properly, they can be sacked. However, they must be offered help and counselling first.

If drug or alcohol abuse or medical conditions in workplaces inclusive of people with disabilities, the long-term unemployed and other vulnerable groups affects someone’s capacity to work, rehabilitation programs can be provided within the JG framework.

Ideally, existing unemployment benefits schemes should be discontinued to free the existing administrative infrastructure for JG operations. An unemployed worker’s income would be provided only by  taking and holding a JG job.

 See Billy Blog also for a further view –  “Please be clear – persons unable to work would be provided with a ‘living income’. This includes the aged, the sick, the disabled, the young. They would have generous material support.”

It may well be that someone who won’t take or retain a JG job is suffering from some disability The Australian Government Department charged with the JG Program should seek to develop an evidence-based assessment process. On the other hand, there will be (hopefully) a very few who will be content to bludge, defraud  or resort to criminal activity. Criminal Law may be the answer, unfortunately.

Unemployment benefits at  a rate significantly lower than that paid for a JG job for those that choose not to work  and a disability pension for those unable to work even in a JG should not prevent the JG from working effectively.

The Australian  Government should  fund, manage and control the JG program with on-going engagement and participation by Australia’s  State and Local Governments and Community Councils

Australia’s Job Guarantee Program should be funded, managed at local area or even neighbourhood levels and administered by an Australian Government Department, the culture and emphasis of which would focus on its reason for existence – to serve the needs of the environment, community, and people and to enhance the public good.

A Job Guarantee’s management and some of its day to day work allocation and supervision would require additional staffing at Local levels with staff engaged by the State, Local or Community Council or perhaps also by a Statutory Authority on an on-going basis. This funding should also be funded by the Australian Federal Government.

Each area’s Program must be managed and supervised  by appropriately qualified people – a well paid, sought-after job.

The JG should be integrated into a coherent training framework
TAFE and perhaps less often University training along with private enterprise business offering specialist courses in, e.g. truck and plant driving and operation need to be provided with the JG framework.

 

Aged Care and Disability (NDIS) must be provided by a responsible Government  as well as on-going Fire Management, Aboriginal “Care for Country”, Transmission Line maintenance,  National Parks, Education etc – JG provides ‘extras’  but not the primary delivery of day to day essentials.

A Job Bank  should be established and maintained during  JG program

A JG provides a buffer stock of labour which goes up and down as private sector decreases or increases. A Job Bank has to recognise this and it would not be sensible to use only JG employees in functions considered essential. More public sector jobs, would be needed to manage and administer these e essential activities.

Many programs  can be usefully augmented and performed intermittently by the JG program.  Much of this work will be on Public Land – roads and streets; nature strips, foreshores estuaries parks, environmental and other Reserves.

Planting trees, enhancing neighbourhood amenity, expanding walkways and bike-paths – these things can be done at varying levels of intensity over time, leaving the capital or essential bits to be done by established systems and work forces that may otherwise be distracted by fixing, for example, potholes that are a nuisance rather than a hazard.  Pot Holes for days and weeks – Hazard Warning signs. JG people  can fix or ameliorate and advise if beyond their level of skill or equipment.

A Job Bank will not always already include jobs arising from emergencies and epidemics

Local unemployment will happen as result of fires, floods and droughts. An epidemic like COVID-19 will cause varying degrees of unemployment and needs. A Job Bank should include some likely and ‘generic’ scenarios but cannot say when, how much and where. A JG wage should be available to anyone registers at a designated JG office even if the office had not organised work for that person yet.

A JG is should include those who can only work part-time

This will present a challenge to those managing local JG programs. Most JG jobs will necessarily involve people and equipment that must be available and committed for the duration of a planned ‘job’.

A solution must be sought, involving those trained and experienced in Project Management and other relevant disciplines 

Direction and advice from professionals and specialists  – use the local knowledge-base

Advice and often oversight and direction from professionals  in e.g. ecology, forest and native pasture management, roadworks, building construction etc need the in-put and direction of those whose work involves day-to-day dealing with safety, access, traffic, pipes and poles in roads and public places etc.

Importantly, advice and often direction must be included from professionals working in bushfire management, forestry and native pasture management and much more.

As well, it would be foolish to ignore the vast knowledge base within,  for example,  the Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management, formed by the Victorian Government in 1994 to manage foreshore Crown land reserves on the northern Bellarine Peninsular.

Statutory and Community organisations, Charities, Clubs like Lions or Rotary, the CWA , LandCare, Indigenous Australian’s Organisations – so many more: these must have input. Their knowledge base is huge. 

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