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Work for the Dole Scheme Threatens NFPs - Greens

Thursday, 31st July 2014 at 10:18 am
Staff Reporter
The Australian Greens have called for a rethink of the whole work for the dole program as its outcomes will put more pressure on Not for Profits.

Thursday, 31st July 2014
at 10:18 am
Staff Reporter



Work for the Dole Scheme Threatens NFPs - Greens
Thursday, 31st July 2014 at 10:18 am

The Australian Greens have called for a rethink of the whole work for the dole program as its outcomes will put more pressure on Not for Profits.

"Work for the dole punishes job seekers, will have perverse outcomes and put more pressure on Not for Profits," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services, said.

"Job seekers are now being asked to do impossible participation requirements and take part in ineffective work for the dole schemes. All the while they're being denied access to adequate income support or the personalised training and support they need to transition into secure work.

"Not for Profits will end up bearing the cost of providing placements, with Government obviously lining them up as a cheap way of implementing their flawed work for the dole regime.”

The Coalition Government recently released its exposure draft of the purchasing arrangements for a new employment services model – a $5.1 billion investment over three years from July 1, 2015 – which includes the new Work for the Dole scheme.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said as part of the new model, most job seekers would be required to look for up to 40 jobs per month and most job seekers under 50 years of age would be required to participate in Work for the Dole for either 15 or 25 hours per week for six months each year, depending on their age.

According to the new framework, the new national network of Work for the Dole Coordinators would source Work for the Dole places and projects with Not for Profit organisations.

"Not for Profits are not employment bodies and they are not training organisations. Being asked to provide placements for potentially hundreds of thousands of people will be disruptive to their ongoing work and will put even more strain on their operations,” Siewert said.

"This shows just how out of touch the Government is. The language from the Prime Minister, Senator Abetz and their colleagues is laced with a disregard for job seekers and insinuations that people could walk out the front door and into a job whenever they want. The reality is totally different.

"The Federal Government is setting job seekers an impossible task by telling them to apply for 40 jobs a month and then threatening them with financial penalties if these applications don't meet a certain standard.

"Doing a proper job application takes time and effort. How does the Government really expect people to meet their requirements when they're working for the dole and when they're living below the poverty line on Newstart, Youth Allowance or being denied income support altogether in the case of job seekers under 30?

"The Business Council of Australia, community groups and academics are all questioning the Government's approach, and it is time for Tony Abbott to pay attention," Senator Siewert said.

Comments on the proposed arrangements close on August 25. For more information, visit www.employment.gov.au

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