Release type: Joint Media Release


New Work for the Dole arrangements for young job seekers


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Tasmania
The Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP
Assistant Minister for Employment

New Work for the Dole arrangements will help more young job seekers to improve their chances of getting a job while giving something back to the community that supports them.

Work for the Dole is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

Minister for Employment Eric Abetz and Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker have today announced $14.9 million over two years from 2013–14 to phase in a new Work for the Dole programme for young job seekers.

Under this phase-in from 1 July 2014, job seekers aged 18 to 30 years who have been unemployed for twelve months or more and receiving taxpayer-funded assistance from a Job Services Australia provider will be required to do Work for the Dole for around 15 hours per week for six months unless they are working part-time.

The new rules will apply in selected areas across Australia for the next twelve months before an expansion of the programme from 1 July 2015.

“We sell our young people short if we allow them to drift into welfare dependency,” Minister Abetz said.

“The Abbott Government believes that everyone who is capable of working should be working, ideally for a wage — but if not, for the dole. It is important that people receiving taxpayer-funded benefits recognise their mutual obligation to contribute to the community in return. Active involvement in Work for the Dole will also assist young people’s overall physical and mental health.

“The new Work for the Dole programme will help young job seekers gain the skills and experience they need to move from welfare to work as soon as possible, while also making a positive contribution to their local community.”

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said Work for the Dole will help job seekers demonstrate the skills and attitudes that employers look for in candidates.

“Work for the Dole provides job seekers with structure and support in a work-like setting while they are looking for a job,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Participants can learn a range of new skills while also demonstrating positive work behaviours such as punctuality, teamwork and commitment.”

New Work for the Dole coordinators will be employed to work with Job Services Australia providers and community-based organisations to secure Work for the Dole placements.

The coordinators will serve as the first point of contact for organisations wishing to offer Work for the Dole positions and will help employment service providers match job seekers with placements.

This will minimise the red-tape for Job Services Australia providers and host organisations.

A tender to select the new Work for the Dole coordinators for 2014–15 will be undertaken shortly.

The Abbott Government has also announced changes to income support for young job seekers that will see more young people participating in Work for the Dole from 2015–16 onwards.

From 1 July 2015, all job seekers aged 18–30 and in receipt of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) will be required to undertake Work for the Dole for 25 hours per week when in receipt of payment.

These rules will apply to new income support recipients with a full work capacity and who are not in education or a part-time apprenticeship. Alternative arrangements will apply to job seekers with a partial work capacity, significant barriers to employment or parent carer responsibilities.

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