Release type: Media Release


New Work for the Dole for young job seekers


The Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP
Assistant Minister for Employment

New Work for the Dole arrangements in areas of high unemployment will help young job seekers learn the skills they need to move from welfare to work sooner.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker today announced further details on the first phase of the Government’s Work for the Dole programme to help young job seekers remain active and engaged while looking for work.

The new arrangements will apply in 18 locations across Australia and include six areas in New South Wales, five in Queensland, four in Victoria, and one each in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

From 1 July 2014, job seekers aged 18 to 30 years in the targetted areas 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.

“The Australian Government believes that all Australians who are capable of working should be working — ideally for a wage but, if not, for the dole,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Work for the Dole is an important part of the Government’s plan to help young job seekers gain the skills and experience they need to move from welfare to work and make a positive contribution to their local community.

“Work for the Dole provides participants with the chance to demonstrate many of the skills and behaviours that employers look for in candidates, such as commitment, teamwork and punctuality.”

The 18 selected areas reflect a cross-section of metropolitan and regional communities experiencing high unemployment and include:


  1. Fairfield, Liverpool (NSW)
  2. Nepean, Outer Western Sydney (including Blue Mountains NSW)
  3. Central Coast (NSW)
  4. Shoalhaven (NSW)
  5. Richmond, Tweed, Clarence Valley (including Ballina and Byron Bay NSW)
  6. Coffs Harbour, Macleay, Hastings (NSW)
  7. Bundaberg (Qld)
  8. Fraser Coast (Qld)
  9. Outer North Brisbane (Qld)
  10. Cairns (Qld)
  11. Logan (Qld)
  12. Westgate (north west Melbourne Vic)
  13. Goulburn Valley (Vic)
  14. Peninsula (south eastern Melbourne Vic)
  15. Geelong (Vic)
  16. Central and West Metro (south west Perth WA)
  17. Northern Adelaide, Gawler (SA)
  18. West and North West, Launceston (Tas)


As part of the 2014–15 Budget, the Government provided $14.9 million for Work for the Dole, including new funding for Work for the Dole Coordinators.

“The Coordinators will serve as the first point of contact for organisations wishing to be involved in Work for the Dole and help match job seekers to available places,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Work for the Dole places will be sourced in not-for-profit organisations, local councils and federal and state government agencies.

Further information on the tender for the Work for the Dole Coordinators will be available at from 29 May 2014.