Independent Report finds Work for the Dole Effective
17 November 2015 at 10:09 am
An independent evaluation of the Work for the Dole pilot has found the program was effective in helping participants gain confidence and self-esteem and learn skills such as team-work, communication and appropriate workplace behaviour.
The review, which started on 1 July 2014 by the Social Research Centre and the Australian National University, found that 83 per cent of the participants surveyed agreed that Work for the Dole was an opportunity to give back to the community.
Another 79 per cent agreed that the routine was good for them and 81 per cent said they were treated like a valuable member of staff.
The review also found that 68 per cent agreed that their placement was a valuable experience.
“It’s also pleasing to note that host organisations, many of them community groups and charities, saw Work for the Dole as an opportunity to undertake activities and complete tasks they would otherwise not have the resources to do,” Minister for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash, said.
The Work for the Dole pilot was conducted in 18 selected areas and was open to job seekers aged 18 to 29 years. It ran for one year in preparation for the national rollout of Work for the Dole under jobactive on 1 July 2015.
“Work for the Dole activities can be hosted by Not for Profit and government organisations. The program gives organisations an extra set of hands to help to undertake activities that would not normally be done,” Senator Cash said.
“I encourage more community groups to consider hosting Work for the Dole participants.”
The review said one motivation mentioned was that Work for the Dole helped community organisations complete jobs that they had put “on the backburner” for a long time and would never have been able to progress without the assistance of the job seekers.
Some also viewed the program as an opportunity to a develop community infrastructure, where they had not previously had the resources.
“Whist some welcomed the opportunity to increase their volunteer workforce, the ability of the program to help job seekers gain work-related and employability skills was a key motivator. That said, the funding of WfD was clearly an added incentive. Some host organisations stated that the funding made a significant contribution to the ongoing operations of their business,” the review said.
“It’s a win for those groups giving them extra people to continue their good work, and it’s a win for participants, learning new skills whilst supporting the community that is supporting them.”
Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15 was based on a range of evidence including in-depth interviews with job seekers, host organisations, Work for the Dole coordinators, employment services providers and program managers in the Department of Employment. In addition, a telephone survey of 700 eligible job seekers was undertaken.
The full Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15 report can be found HERE.