Independent report finds Work for the Dole is effective

Sunday, 22 November 2015

An independent evaluation of the Work for the Dole pilot has found the program to be effective in helping participants gain confidence and learn skills.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said he made strong representations to the Minister early last year to ensure two out of the 18 trial sites were located in the Hinkler Electorate.

“Unemployment is the single biggest issue in our region. That’s why I’ve been working hard to attract investment and ensure Hinkler is at the centre of the Coalition Government’s employment programs,” Mr Pitt said.

Work for the Dole places job seekers in activities where they can gain valuable experience in roles that also give back to the community.

“Since the trial started in July last year Hinkler job seekers aged 18 to 29 years in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay have learnt team work and communication skills and their self-esteem has improved.

“Work gives individuals the ability to provide for their families. It makes our communities strong and is the foundation of economic security for the nation.”

The independent evaluation by the Social Research Centre and the Australian National University found that of the participants surveyed:

• 83 per cent agreed that Work for the Dole is an opportunity to give back to the community

• 79 per cent agreed that the routine was good for them

• 81 per cent said they were treated like a valuable member of staff

• 81 per cent said they were satisfied with the amount of responsibility they were given

• 76 per cent said they were satisfied with the amount of work

• 74 per cent said they were satisfied with the variety of tasks

• 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, believe Work for the Dole is an opportunity to undertake activities and complete tasks they would otherwise not have the resources to do,” Mr Pitt said.

The Work for the Dole trial ran for 12 months before it was rolled out nationally on July 1 this year. Job seekers under the age of 30, who have been receiving welfare payments for six months or more, must complete 25 hours per week for a minimum of six months each year. Job seekers aged between 30 and 49, who have been receiving welfare payments for six months or more, must complete 15 hours per week for a minimum of six months each year. All Work for the Dole participants receive an additional $20.80 per fortnight to assist with the cost of transport.

Mr Pitt said Work for the Dole was just one of the measures the Government had introduced to give job seekers a hand up:

 – Businesses can access up to $10,000 to employ mature age job seekers through Restart

 – Young job seekers who find a job and stay off welfare for 12 months will receive a Job Commitment Bonus of $2500, and a further $4000 at 24 months

 – Receive up to $9000 Relocation Assistance to take up a sustainable ongoing job

– Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000 for apprentices, with a 20% discount for successful completion

 – Wage subsidies of up to $6,500 for businesses that employ long-term welfare recipients, young or indigenous jobs seekers

 – $476 million Industry Skills Fund for staff training to help businesses expand

– Green Army volunteers gain a qualification while helping clean up the environment

 – Entrepreneurial job seekers interested in starting their own business can get assistance through the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)

– $5 billion for the new job services provider model jobactive

 – $330 million for a Youth Employment Strategy to help young people transition from school to work

– National Work Experience Program gives job seekers unpaid placements with employers for up to four weeks

– ADF Gap Year

“We are doing everything we can but, the bottom line is, there aren’t enough jobs locally,” Mr Pitt said.

“Together, as a community, we need to attract investment to the region by telling everyone how great it is. We need to shop locally and support businesses so that they have the confidence to create new jobs.

“That’s why I’ve launched the #bundybayandbush campaign and why I’m trying to create a military dive wreck to attract more tourists to the region.

“We’ve signed free trade agreements, which will open up new markets for our local exporters. We’ve reduced the company tax rate, and the last Federal Budget included immediate tax deductions for small businesses that purchase new assets.”

To see the full evaluation report of Work for the Dole visit https://www.employment.gov.au/evaluation-work-dole-2014-15

 

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