The CDEP Consultative Group held its second meeting in Darwin on 16 March 2010.
Nine members are providers of CDEP services and four members provide specialist advice based on their expertise in community development, training and business management. Mr Bryan Palmer, Group Manager of the Indigenous Programs and Economic Development Group is Chair of the Group.
The Consultative Group provides advice to the Department on operational matters impacting on the effective implementation of the reforms to the CDEP program and strategic solutions to overcome these matters. This advice has been incorporated into identifying operational issues that were impeding effective CDEP service delivery.
In response to these identified issues, FaHCSIA, DEEWR and Centrelink examined the implementation of the reforms to the CDEP program and on 11 March 2010 Ministers Macklin and Arbib agreed to a series of nine steps to fine tune the program
The Consultative Group discussed:
- The Consultative Group’s expectations and participatory roles in Workshop sessions as part of the National CDEP Workshop held in Darwin on 17 – 18 March 2010.
- Implementation of the series of nine steps to fine tune the reforms to the CDEP program. The nine steps include:
- Any CDEP provider with an average utilisation of 70% or less will receive funding corresponding to minimum utilisation of 70%
- Enable Indigenous job seekers to connect directly to CDEP providers
- Regular joint information and messaging to CDEP and JSA providers by FaHCSIA and DEEWR
- Facilitate regular meetings between JSA and CDEP providers and ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner
- DEEWR’s JSA online diary be extended to 28 days in the future for better appointment booking
- JSA providers to refer jobseekers to CDEP where CDEP is the only participation activity in a location (if there are concerns about quality of CDEP performance, DEEWR to notify FaHCSIA to remedy)
- Consider the removal of the two week rule allowing ‘grandfathered’ participants to return to the program and access CDEP wages
- Employment Pathway Plans must be specific including the number of hours per week a person must attend CDEP to ensure adequate documentation for Centrelink to institute participation failures
- DEEWR to examine scope to negotiate additional participation activities beyond the minimum requirements for jobseekers to be in activities for 6 out of 12 months as specified in the Social Security Guide
- Communication strategies to assist CDEP providers promote themselves to participants and JSA providers, and tactics for effectively communicating the ongoing changes to CDEP as outlined at initial implementation. There was also discussion on how FaHCSIA could assist CDEP providers to develop appropriate communication products for their own communities and clients.
The next CDEP Consultative Group meeting will be held in Adelaide on 19 - 20 May 2010.