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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Employment

A number of agencies were created by the Commonwealth to respond to employment issues. These agencies were responsible for general functions related to employment; more specific functions concerning particular political or social circumstances, such as inquiries into industrial relations; or the coordination of wartime demands on labour.

The functions of the Department of Labour and National Service included general labour policy, labour priorities, investigation of labour supply and demand, effective placement of labour, training of labour for technical units of the armed forces and munitions production, industrial relations and welfare, research into labour questions, and coordination of Commonwealth plans for post-war reconstruction.

The operation of Commonwealth migrant hostels was added in 1948, and in 1951 the department was given responsibility for the administration of the National Service Act. Functions undertaken by 1970 included National Service and vocational guidance, employment and industrial services (including applied psychology, hostels and migrant inquiries), employment placement, industrial relations, and productivity planning and research. Once conscription was abolished in 1972, the department was renamed the Department of Labour.

Records held by the Archives relating to employment in South Australia include policy and procedure files, employment statistics, correspondence and case files.

Selected series relating to employment in South Australia
Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Labour and National Service, Branch Office/Regional Administration, South Australia
Correspondence files, 1941–54 D358
Correspondence files, 1945–54 D1917
Sydney
Recorded by: Department of Labour and National Service, Branch Office/Regional Administration, South Australia
Finsbury ammunition factory accident records, 1941–50 D2712
Award inspection files, 1970– D626
Administrative files, 1946–67 AP1071/2
Policy and procedure files, 1951–74 AP1035/1
Policy and procedure files, 1951–74 AP116/1
Correspondence files, 1954–97 D359
Local trades training register, 1940–45 AP1479/1
Correspondence files relating to monthly employment statistics, 1948–52 AP1071/3
Correspondence files, 'M', 1949–63 AP775/1
Correspondence files, 'G', 1951–55 AP775/2
Correspondence relating to British and alien subjects not registered for training, 1951–59 AP106/1
Confidential files, 1963–72 AP790/1
Sydney
Recorded by: Industrial Relations Bureau, South Australia
Legislation special case files, 1979–82 D1318
Selected items relating to employment in South Australia
Adelaide
Commonwealth Employment Service, mobilisation of seasonal labour for rural industries, 1946–50 D1917, D57/46
Shortage of female workers, 1946–52 D1917, D23/46
Employment division, 1946–53 D358, 23/1/1
Factories registered in South Australia, 1947 D1917, D52/1947
International Labour Organization – preparation of National Employment Service handbooks, 1949 D1917, D11/49

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Chapter 11
Industrial relations and employment