Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Archive for April 1st, 2009

Even It Up! meets SA Minister

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Even It Up! likes to take advantage of opportunities to get amongst it, and when an opportunity to meet SA Government Ministers at a Community Cabinet meeting arose (to get some face time), we wasted no time in completing our deputation form.

Issues of concern were: the recruitment industry (how can this we regulated?) and government recruitment practices (how can this be made easier/fairer so more people from “outside” are encouraged to apply?).  We were assigned Minister Jay Weatherill.

We were given 15 minutes to speak to the Minister and we told him the purpose of Even It Up! and gave him a package of information including Even It Up! stories submitted by our members.  He read through them with interest, and said while public service was his brief, this was an industrial relations issues, and would certainly pass this information on to the Minister concerned.

A couple of salient points that Minister Weatherill made (which showed he got what we were about) were :

  • employees are looked after (in terms of legislation) once they are in the workplace, but not before
  • most of this issues seemed to be about process/communication driven (i.e. people don’t mind if they don’t get the job as long as the are treated well and respectfully – we quoted Maya Angelou at this point)
  • that the view of the public service is a brand management issue (people will tell their friends/family etc. about their experience and this could affect image)
  • there was a review of public service recruitment, and he was interested to see whether this was filtering through to actual practice.

One of his aides wondered if it was a gender issue, and we advised it was across the board, and  that there were similar patterns and trends emerging from stories which were submitted by different and distinct individuals.

The Minister gave us a copy of the public service recruitment handbook for our records (we tried to source this online, but no luck).  Minister Weatherill then said he would get back to me on this issue… and we are pretty sure he will, so we’ll keep you posted.

We mentioned that we wanted to work with the government on these issues, and that the goal for Even It Up! was not to exist.  If we didn’t exist, then that would mean jobseekers were treated fairly and with respect by both direct employers and recruitment companies.  Having said that, we’ll be around for a while, by the looks of things!

Written by evenitup

April 1, 2009 at 7:58 am