The revamped Work for the Dole programme was the focus of today’s visit to Launceston by the Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker.
Mr Hartsuyker and the Member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic MP, met with participants and host organisations at two Work for the Dole projects — the City Mission and SecondBite.
Launceston, and West and North West Tasmania are included in the new Work for the Dole arrangements that start from 1 July.
"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.
"Andrew Nikolic has been a strong supporter of Work for the Dole and I welcome the opportunity to speak with hosts, employment services providers and participants."
Under the new arrangements job seekers aged 18 to 30 years in the targeted 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.
Mr Nikolic said unemployment in Tasmania — for both young people and older workers — had become the worst in Australia under the previous Government.
"Work for the Dole gives hundreds of Tasmanians the opportunity to get workplace experience, thereby greatly improving their chances of long-term employment," Mr Nikolic said.
"We have been open about our intention to revitalise the Work for the Dole programme and the contribution it can make to get as many people as possible back into work. The best form of welfare is a job.
"The Coalition has long been committed to the concept of mutual obligation, based on the reasonable premise that if the community support you when you are in need, you should put something back into the community.
"We see this as a partnership between government, individuals taking part in that programme, and the community organisations and businesses that provide work opportunities."
While in Launceston, Mr Hartsuyker also attended the campaign launch of Youth X-Factor which aims to address youth unemployment in northern Tasmania.
"The Australian Government supports Youth X-Factor and welcomes the commitment of all sponsors to help more young people find and keep a job,” Mr Hartsuyker said.