Academic and employment service provider give their views on 'work-for-the-dole' scheme.LAURA HURLEY August 6, 2014 3:13am
The Federal Government’s proposed work-for-the-dole scheme has raised concerns it might be too extreme in rural areas.
The scheme is part of a federal shake-up of the welfare system to end what has been labelled by Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey as ‘‘the age of entitlement’’.
Under the scheme, job seekers could be expected to apply for up to 40 jobs a month to receive unemployment benefits if they are are not undertaking skills-based learning, and would ‘work-for-the-dole’ for 25 hours a week.
The unemployed and those under 30 would have to job hunt for six months before they became eligible for welfare benefits.
Many are questioning whether 40 job applications a month is a realistic expectation of job seekers in regional areas, where the labour market is smaller.
University of Melbourne professor of economics Jeff Borland conducted research on the effectiveness of the work-for-the-dole scheme under the Howard Government in 2004.
Prof Borland said there was no evidence work-for-the-dole improved people’s employability in its first incarnation.
‘‘It’s impossible to believe work-for-the-dole would have a significant impact on people’s employability,’’ he said.
‘‘Getting the long-term unemployed back into the workforce depends on jobs growth and creation. Schemes that work really need to address skills deficiencies.’’
Prof Borland said work-for-the-dole would be ‘‘a much bigger problem in small communities’’.
‘‘What is needed is choosing a number that gives job seekers a realistic chance at finding a position,’’ he said.
‘‘The cost of that policy will be highest for employers in areas where there will be a lot more applications.’’’
Employment service provider Sureway’s chief executive David Galloway said it was important to remember the details of the work-for-the-dole scheme were still in a period of consultation.
‘‘It’s still in the draft stage and everything they’ve got is just proposed,’’ Mr Galloway said.
He acknowledged it could be more difficult to find work in regional locations, where employment opportunities were fewer and more static.
‘‘In regional areas, in areas like Cobram, it can be particularly difficult to find work. For job seeking, many would have to relocate.’’
Mr Galloway was not concerned about the increased rate of job applications.
‘‘Ideally, if we as an employment service provider can handle it well, and work with these businesses during the hiring process, they shouldn’t be affected.’’
Organisers of the Challenge Shepparton triathlon will donate half the entry fees from entrants in the ‘community team challenge’ to the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THIS year’s Winter Blues Festival is just around the corner — kicking off for the first time on a Thursday at the Star Hotel, American Hotel and Antonio’s on the Port.
ROCHESTER went sugar free for the day on Thursday for National Diabetes Week, with the inaugural Great Sugar Free Bake Off.
Elle Groves will achieve a remarkable milestone this week, in what is already a remarkable A grade netball career with Kyabram, when she steps onto the court on Saturday for her 100th game.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
ONCE in a while some people are lucky enough to stumble across their destiny.
Moira Shire welcomed 25 new citizens on Thursday as people from across the world chose to make Australia their home.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.