Devolving public employment services: Preliminary assessment of the Australian experiment

This article seeks to contribute to the international body of evidence on the effectiveness of different models of delivery of public employment services by providing an overview of the initial experience of Australia’s radical experiment. Following a brief review of the relevant literature, the Job Network model and its implementation are described. This is followed by a discussion of the outcomes relating to cost effectiveness relative to the previous public employment service and the evidence on the incentive effects created by the funding model. A concluding section summarizes the lessons to be drawn from the Australian experience with respect to the contractual model and evaluation issues.