Work for the Dole is a key part of the youth unemployment solution, with the Australian Government set to roll out a revamped programme for job seekers aged 18 to 30 in northern Tasmania.
Minister for Employment Eric Abetz and Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker today visited northern Tasmania to highlight the Australian Government’s jobs plan for the State.
After meeting with representatives from DairyTas, the two Ministers visited the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens, which has hosted numerous Work for the Dole projects.
Senator Abetz said the Government had a comprehensive plan to assist Tasmanian job seekers get off welfare and into work.
“We are committed to building a stronger Tasmanian economy and focussed on breaking down the barriers to employment,” Senator Abetz said.
“It’s just not acceptable to have job seekers sitting at home on welfare when employers keep saying they can’t find enough workers.
“As a society, we do our young people a huge and often irreparable disservice by confirming to them that welfare is a viable option.
“Work for the Dole provides participants with the opportunity to not only gain skills, but also make a contribution to the community which is supporting them.
“The social data is clear – gainful employment enhances mental health, physical health, a sense of self-worth and social interaction.
“The benefits permeate through the whole household.
“Our plan to stimulate employment in Tasmania includes incentives to young job seekers and support for employers when they hire eligible Tasmanians who are on income support.
“Tasmania has the highest unemployment rate and the lowest workforce participation rate of any State, which is why we are delivering the Tasmanian Jobs Programme.
“This programme provides payments of up to $3250 to employers who hire eligible job seekers.
“A new Job Commitment Bonus will also provide incentives of up to $6500 to eligible young job seekers who find and keep a job.
“And the Restart programme will deliver additional subsidies of up to $10,000 for businesses which employ eligible mature-age job seekers.
“Restart more than triples the existing incentive payment and will be an addition to the Tasmanian Programme.”
Mr Hartsuyker last week announced the West, North West and Launceston areas of Tasmania would be included in the phase-in of new Work for the Dole arrangements.
From 1 July 2014, job seekers aged 18 to 30 years who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, and receiving Newstart and/or Youth Allowance (other), will be required to do Work for the Dole for about 15 hours per week for six months.
“Unemployment in this area is currently 8.2 per cent, with the youth unemployment rate almost 20 per cent,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Work for the Dole will help young job seekers move from welfare to work.
“Employers consistently say to me that too many young job seekers present to their businesses without the skills necessary to be productive in the workplace.
“These skills include commitment, teamwork and punctuality.
“Work for the Dole is an opportunity for job seekers to learn those skills."
Mr Hartsuyker said a Work for the Dole coordinator will be appointed in the area to work with employment-service providers to place participants in not-for-profit organisations, local councils and government agencies.