The BSL Research and Policy Centre studies what is needed to create inclusive decent work. We also investigate what helps or hinders people to get, keep and advance in their employment.

For many people in Australia, having a job does not guarantee economic security. Low wages, insecure work and rising costs of living mean that even if one does have a job, one might not be making a decent living.

Our research examines the lived experience of labour market disadvantage and analyses secondary data to understand trends.

Unemployment and underemployment are increasing. Factors such as age, gender, disability or ill-health, and ethnic background may affect pathways into and in and out of work.

People who rely on low wages or income support can struggle to make ends meet.

Our research and policy work examines the links between the changing nature of work, social and economic policy, inequality and insecurity.

We study the current and future impacts for those groups that are more likely than others to experience poverty and social exclusion.

Our work informs the development of policies and programs to address the growing differences in employment opportunity and economic security.

Find all recent publications on Work (2000-present)

Visit the BSL library for our prior research on Work (pre 2000)

Our policy positions for work

• Mobilise local efforts through place-based collaborations of employers, TAFEs, local governments, employment services and community organisations to inform stimulus measures, foster economic development and strengthen regional labour markets.

• Develop a Jobs and Climate Accord: a grand bargain of business; unions; governments and community to advance Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.

• Invest in more effective and enabling employment assistance that builds capabilities; harnesses local effort; engages employers; and is tailored to the circumstances of different groups of jobseekers.

• Expand social procurement measures across Australia to ensure jobseekers experiencing disadvantage benefit from employment opportunities generated by public expenditure.

Selected publications

By Sharon Bond and Deborah Keys 2020

What works to achieve effective employment services for young people? This report presents lessons from the evaluation of the Transition to Work Community of Practice

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By Dina Bowman, Malita Allan and Iris Levin 2019

This Stage 11 report of the Life Chances Study examines post-compulsory education and work experiences for young people in their mid-20s.

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By Aaron Hart, Dina Bowman and Shelley Mallett 2019

How can we ensure Australia will have enough skilled workers to provide quality aged care while supporting the emotional and physical health of older ‘pink collar’ workers?

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By Maria Mupanemunda 2019

How can public and private sector organisations use their purchasing power to create positive social impact?

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By Seuwandi Wickramasinghe 2018

How the Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program acted as a bridge to employment for asylum seekers

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By Martina Boese, John van Kooy and Dina Bowman 2018

Focusing only on getting humanitarian migrants (including refugees) into work ignores the other challenges of settling in a new country.

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By Dina Bowman, Agathe Randrianarisoa and Seuwandi Wickramasinghe 2018

What is needed to help mature jobseekers find work?

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Selected projects

How can public and private sector organisations use their purchasing power to create positive social impact?

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Australia's older workers on low incomes tend to have poorer health, but they are being expected to work longer.

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A project giving young people the freedom to take photographs that represent their experiences of education or employment

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Looking for services related to work?

Given the Chance is one of our longest running and most effective employment support programs.

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Transition to Work is a training and employment program for young people living in Melbourne’s north-western and south-eastern outer suburbs.

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Our CSIS trains public housing tenants to provide a concierge service at the Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond public housing estates.

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Our micro-enterprise program offers mentoring, training and support to women from refugee, migrant and asylum seeker backgrounds.

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The ReSource Youth program empowers young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to make informed decisions about education, employment and volunteer pathways.

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Our Youth Transitions Support Pilot Program helps young refugees participate in the community through work, education and sport.

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Creating Futures for Youth empowers young people to pursue their career goals and build their capacity to work or undertake further learning.

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Are you looking for work or wanting to broaden your work experience? BSL can help place you in a traineeship.

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