This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’s (the department’s) administration of the Employment Fund.

Providers in the jobactive program have access to the Employment Fund, which is a flexible pool of funds that can be used to help eligible jobseekers build experience and skills to obtain and keep jobs. The department tightened controls on access to the fund during the early years of jobactive (which commenced in 2015), but reports that it has now increased the flexibility of the fund and reduced red tape.

During 2017–18, there was a 69 per cent increase in the use of the Employment Fund ($232.3 million in 2017–18 compared to $136.7 million in 2016–17), which was accessed by 355,000 jobseekers.