YOUNG job seekers in Cairns will benefit from the Coalition Government’s new Work for the Dole Programme, with the city being selected as one of the 18 high-priority areas across the country.
Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch today announced that 18 to 30 year olds in Cairns, who have been unemployed for twelve months or more and receiving Newstart and/or Youth Allowance (other), will be required to carry out Work for the Dole in 2014/15.
Mr Entsch said that from 1 July 2014, participants will complete around 15 hours per week for six months in a work-like environment.
“The Government’s reinvigorated Work for the Dole programme will give all participants the chance to have a go,” Mr Entsch said.
“The Coalition Government firmly believes that all Australians capable of working should be working. They should be earning, learning or Working for the Dole.
“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. It keeps job seekers engaged and active plus helps avoid a lifetime of welfare dependency.”
Mr Entsch said the Government would appoint a Work for the Dole Coordinator for Cairns with tenders to be called this week.
“These Coordinators will have the vital, on-the-ground task of identifying local organisations willing to host a Work for the Dole place, and connecting those organisations with employment-service providers in the area,” Mr Entsch said.
Work for the Dole places will be sourced in not-for-profit organisations, local councils and federal and state government agencies.
“I have had enquiries from a number of projects that are interested in this program, and would give people the opportunity to learn a broad range of skills. I’m very excited by that. I think we will have no problem filling available spots,” Mr Entsch said.
“When we were last involved in the Work for the Dole scheme, I remember it gave people a great sense of pride and achievement. A lot of them didn’t even finish the program they got poached into full time work.
“Work for the Dole is certainly not a punishment, it’s an opportunity for them to get incentivised and enthusiastic very quickly. They will also be putting something back into the community,” Mr Entsch said.
The selection of 18 areas is the first phase in the lead-up to a national rollout of the programme in 2015. From 1 July 2015, all job seekers aged 18-30 and in receipt of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) will be required to undertake Work for the Dole for 25 hours per week when in receipt of payment.
Further information on the tender for the Work for the Dole Coordinators will be available at www.tenders.gov.au from 29 May.