Does this prove work-for-the-dole is ineffective? 175



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A new report has revealed the coalition’s $1 billion work-for-the-dole scheme has improved an unemployed person’s chance of getting a job by just two percentage points.

The government-commissioned report said the chance of getting a job had in fact risen, but from a very low starting base. The program was introduced by the Abbott government last year and was sold to the Australian public as a chance to open doors into the workforce for thousands of unemployed people.

Speaking about the scheme last year, former employment minister Eric Abetz said “it is helping to open doors for job seekers and help people move from welfare to work”, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. These new revelations have got people wondering just how many doors are really being opened though.

The government had estimated that 150,000 people would be participating in the program when it was fully launched. Within the first six months of the scheme 52,000 people joined, but 20,000 of those did not make it to the end of that period – instead choosing to leave the scheme for other options.

The program has courted controversy since its inception, with its high cost – $1 billion over three years – and a waiting period of up to 13 weeks before receiving any payment.

The Turnbull government is yet to respond to these new revelations, but many taxpayers are asking: why are we paying for this scheme when it does so little to help people find work?

Do you think there is a better way to help people find work? Do you think the government should scrap the work-for-the-dole program?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. This proves that the proliferation of job service providers, like that of many training providers, is a total scam that the LNP is happy to permit, in spite of the proven evidence of massive costs to the tax payer, with little or no tangible benefit to any but the fraudulent operators.

    2 REPLY
  2. Instead of all the complicated schemes why not just put the money into apprenticeships. This will give people some training and hopefully result in more employment. There are so many people even in my own circle who would love to get an apprenticeship but find it impossible.

    9 REPLY
    • The Liberal government did away with technical schools years ago ….. when I went to high school, boys had the choice of either high school or technical schools !

    • I am doing a TAFE course at the moment to become a nail technician, but the equipment cost around $1k. I am thinking of dropping out. My local TAFE used to do the course now I need to commute six hours on public transport. If I chose to do it through a private provider the course would take 18 months (instead of 18 weeks) , but cost me $3k paid at $50/week.

      I have disabilities and I just want to work part-time at home which could save the government money and help me contribute to the economy. I am on a wait list for housing but I’d rather be able to rent privately. This is why I want to do the nail course.

    • I know couple of older qualified Aussies, who can’t get jobs they are both tradesmen and they want to work. They are forced on this work for the dole, they don’t send them to any jobs, they are out picking up papers in parks. They could spend that time looking for work and the council could employ someone to do their paper picking up, this program is doing others out of a job too

    • I thought a big problem was getting qualified tradesmen to take on apprentices. In the Illawarra, the Steelworks took on many apprentices for many and various trades. Sadly they have virtually all gone. It takes more than money for apprentices. It takes tradesmen to train them. A problem then is the cost of TAFE courses. Course costs used to be minimal but they have gone right up and these are state not federal.

    • Leanna Stephenson..I can understand that..try getting a job even some trades when you are 50 +.
      Bunnings employ some but not in their trades

    • Victoria AlexandraD’Arienzo.what a pity! I think they killed a good system..we all can’t be Dr.s and Lawyers or go to uni..but those that aspire to trades are given an education that is more suited to their trades..that is how you get good tradesmen. .not like today.
      Trades were/ are looked down upon and now the put anyone into apprenticeship because it is skills…what about knowledge??? Some brain power ?? Trades had certain educational requirements to get into them..not just Johnny is good with his hands..but not much brain power. .putting any Tom. Dick .or Harry into trades demeans the value of that trade. .but their is a certain standard for your Dr. Etc this is why out trades are mediocre..not specialists. can’t make a silk purse out of a hogs ear..The young need to get an education in at least the BASICS and from my knowledge of the closed trade schools that was what they got..I stand corrected though

    • Victoria Alexandra D’Arienzo Technical Schools in Victoria were closed in the 1980s by a Labor Government. The Labor Minister of Education Ms Kosky admitted in 2006 the closure had been a mistake. However, don’t let the facts get in the way of your good story. It was certainly a sad time for education when these schools disappeared.

  3. National Service, Apprenticeships, this is what we need our Kids will all be on the scrap heap before they are 20

    18 REPLY
    • National Service? That will sort itself out if the Republicans win their presidential election. Guaranteed USA will invade somewhere and the grovelling Liberal Party will follow them.

    • Do not subject our children to national service, there’s enough abuse in the armed services now thank you.

    • What bloody tripe! National service? FFS, this isn’t the bloody 1950s. What’s nneded is JOBS. LOTS MORE JOBS. And less judgmentalcrap from out-of-touch ‘antis’.

    • Thats isolated cases, National Service will give our Kids respect for them selves, and they will be better able to deal with situations ,and teach them a trade our kids are leaving school with no prospects and walking the streets

    • Well done Max name calling is so inmature and lessens your argument maybe u are so young you have not learnt how to debate

    • Maggie Geeves..I have heard this call for national service for yonks what it does is place the responsibility somewhere else…National service will teach many things to those that are interested. .character building building and getting along with others..hygiene. .punctuality. .but if they want to rebel..what is the army going to do. .not pay them. Not feed them corporal punishment? Discharge them….ah yes this is what they would want. .and with all this political correctness…what can they do ?? I did school cadets for 2 yrs and it was great. The government cannot provide employment…jobs ….but it can provide an enviroment whereby business will flourish and expand to provide jobs..but sadly a lot of our manufacturing has for the dole is a mickey mouse thing but it does do certain thing for participants..get out of bed and attend ..punctuality which employers expect. .getting along with others in a team…and I could go on. But a future job ..I doubt it..yes a few

    • Hi Gerry I know what u mean I was just thinking maybe a way to keep kids of the Street every day we hear terrible things and we all want the best for them ,it just seems that there is nothing for them but as you said if they don’t want to do it where does that leave us….Where is our Land of Milk and Honey gone…….all sold out

    • I had the best motive 2 get my kids in2 the workforce.. i accidently married a looser. Had 2 toss him.. then lived in one of sydneys worst housing estates but it had sewage. Shops n one good gov school that was a positive.. i was a mean mum ( my sons had good mates) but they were disaplined by me. i had 2 keep them alive.. so aftr they finished schooling they planned 2 find employment, find their owñ place (away from me) they did that.. they got employed even if it cost me my last $ 2 pay 4 their interview clothes. They Settled in2 their work. Bought a car each n rented a house.. thàt was a shock, then they had 2 balance their income. Ensure ppl they invited home wouldnt trash the house which meant loosing their bond.. they achieved again. Eventualy buying their own homes.. and all living happily ever aftr. My words.. “dont even think about it” when some dodgy plan entered their thoughts must still echo in their minds. I put it down 2 me, being extremely “streetwise”.. one has 2 be, even yur partners can c your weaknesses n rip u off… actually im an interstater. My standards were high.. guess what my kids standards r higher.. my x was trying 2 strip me down 2 his level. Not good.

    • I know 2 Maggie and they really worried, they are qualified tradesmen who can’t get work and they know their time is running out for them to add to their super

    • Maggie i was permanent defence services as a teen they teach u zilch. Yur brainwashed yur a number. U come out dis orientated thinking yur marvelous but u kno nothing. U kno about bullying and alcoholism. Injuries from work related accidents that one has 2 deal with 4 rest of life.. i read and noticed 4 example how many boiler makers. Engine room staff die young from lung disease. Getting kids up before dawn. Giving them a #1 haircut n making them run 4 several miles b4 breakfast. Teaching them 2 do their laundry ironing their uniforms, Making their own beds isnt gonna make men out of them.. thats something they can learn in boy scouts.. enroll the kids into scouts. Its fun. Non alcoholic plus they go camping once in a while

    • I don’t agree with Maggie because if there is a war if they put them in National Service, these kids would have to go, but I understand you have good intentions Maggie, this not the answer they need to creat more jobs

    • Max Tivey 1950’s? and the rest. There was National Service from 1965 to 1972. If I’d been male, I would have had to go because my birthday date was called up. The point is if the Liberals do their usual and keep us at war with someone of the USA’a choosing, conscription will return. My younger brother wondered why vastly lesser persons were getting promotions and not him. Reason – “You’re likely to be called up to go to Vietnam”. No promotions for staff who were expected to die.

    • National Services is not the answer, the armed forces have stated a number of times they do NOT want people who are NOT interested in a career to be sent to the armed services, they neither have the resources nor the time to “babysit” people who don’t want to be there, that those who have no interest in that armed services are a danger not only to themselves but to the instructors and others. Further you need to have a minimum of year 12, pass a psychiatric assessment (last thing you want is to teach someone with psychiatric issues’ is how to kill people), and a very rigorous physical… all this does is take from people who choose the armed forces as a career.

      Character building, team building and getting along with others… hygiene… punctuality are all things that are taught via 13 odd years in the school system. BUT when they leave that and face the reality on NO jobs, and few long term prospect, is it a wonder that many go off the rails slightly, they have been lied to by the system, that when they do the hard grind and put in effort they will get rewarded… instead they are blamed and shamed for being unemployed… which isn’t their fault… the lack of jobs and career prospects is out of job seekers control.

  4. some people probably didn’t want the job and only did it to get the dole. I’ve seen people start a job, decided it was all too hard and left to go back on the dole. personally, i thought it was a good idea but perhaps it wasn’t so good in the practice.

    3 REPLY
    • Waiting 13 weeks to receive a payment isn’t much of an incentive, I dare say most dropped out when they couldn’t wait any longer for some support. Let’s not label all people out of work the same please.

  5. The government can put all these schemes out there but their success is dependent on the majority of unemployed people being willing to work. I suspect that a lot of people, not all, on the dole do not actually want to work. Programs like this would definitely help the genuine job seekers. If I was desperate for a job I would be willing to work for nothing initially to prove myself to a prospective employer, which is really what this scheme is.

    18 REPLY
    • We accept there is a percentage that are unemployable Debbie but when the number of people out of work escalates there’s reason to put an emplyement strategy in place.

    • A lot can’t work even if they wanted to. They should be on disability support, but the government has forced them on to a lower support rate on newstart. It’s one arm one leg you can work stuff now days.

    • Debbie Bryant you are showing your ignorance for one work for the dole must be a not for profit organisation the unemployed are not taught any skills or encouraged to better themselves they are forced to participate in order to get their unemployment payment it has nothing to do with their willingness to work in a real job most participants long for meaningful work

    • Indefinitely? ???? Because there are 170k job vacancies and 750 k unemployed. You do the math

    • Fred Davies I agree. This scheme in principle is a great idea. It is a shame that in practice it seems to have failed.

    • Yes, I’m one of those unemployed people you are talking about, and I have extensive qualifications/experience..but try and get an employer to give you a chance when you are approaching 60 !!! Its impossible, I can’t even get an interview ! I have even been asked my age at interviews, what does that tell you. It is very disheartening and humiliating to have to rely on govt support, and FYI I voluntarily pay tax out of my Newstart !

    • Linley Herbert I found out that Newstart is exactly the same amount as a Youth Allowance and I am over 50 yrs old

    • it is not the young who can’t get jobs, older people are really struggling and this work for the dole is not helping them, they to get rid of it if is not working..look at the cost many pensions would that pay for?

    • lol sorry deb, this pension thing is always on my mind I calculate it all now in pensions instead of money

    • These schemes do not really solve anything. If there are no jobs, there are no jobs. Many people have a lot of qualifications and experience but can’t get a job because they are seen as being overqualified. Getting more experience and doing more training does nothing to solve this.

    • Linley Herbert My daughter had 15 years experience in a Court House she worked while her husband was a stay at home dad ,when they moved he got a job & my daughter stayed home with the kids ,she had a couple of jobs that didn’t work out she later applied for many jobs but was knocked back as they wanted more experience ,she was on a short list for a solicitors assistance & had all the qualifications they asked for then she got a phone call to say they would like a certain certificate ,my daughter said to them that she had worked with Judges & solicitors & was well qualified ,she didn’t get the job ,she is now doing a Tafe course at $600 for 5 weeks it’s hard when you have a family ,she hopes to get a job out of it but it doesn’t Guarantee you will get a job ,it’s very frustrating when you apply for job after job & always get put on the short list .

    • Linley Herbert My son is in the same boat. Except he is constantly being told that at 23 with one degree and in the process of doing another part time that he is too young and does not have enough experience. Another job he applied for he was told he was too old ( that was at JB Hi Fi). Go figure.

    • I have worked, and got paid, in my parents business since I was 10 years old, did the usual got married had a family and still worked full time in business’s we owned. Found myself a single parent when my youngest was only 4 and STILL worked full time. I had NO financial childcare help, I had to work hours around my girls and when I couldn’t I had to pay babysitters ! I got bugger all govt help. Now at nearly 60 I am labeled, very humiliatingly, ‘long term unemployed’ !! This is not by my choice. There just isn’t work out there as you get older. I know the young ones are suffering as well, but us older ones have FAR more life experience, work experience and skills to offer. and we desperately WANT to work ! Try to get 15 hours ‘work for the dole’ at one organization. I volunteer where I can but I don’t get any extra financial help to help me with transport to go all over the place to get the ‘required’ 15 hours. I don’t know what the answer is…I just know the current regulations aren’t working. It’s alright for the politicians on 500k a year to make these decisions for the rest of us, but they should try actually doing it for a week and see if they can survive. And that’s what it is surviving, it certainly isn’t ‘living’. I mean who in their right mind would think that those of us being on Newstart think of it as a ‘job’ and choose not to work ! With rent/ cost of living etc Newstart works out to be around 5 bucks an hour for doing ‘that job’ !!!

    • The vast majority of unemployed want to work. The problem is that WFTD is a distraction from job seeking activities and studies have demonstrated that participation in WFTD reduces the probability of young people to get work.

      Generally speaking WFTD doesn’t provide specific on the job training. It often frustrates those who are employable but doesn’t make the unemployable more employable. These are the ones who get breached and lose their payment.
      Unemployed people constantly live in fear of losing their payment if their job agent fails to mark them as attending an interview. They often constantly in fear of losing their accommodation, socially isolated because they don’t have the finances to socialise with friends, often they struggle to put food on the table, they can’t fund urgent repairs, they cannot fund attending a course. They are often frustrated because they have to spend the last $5.00 on a bus ticket on getting to the job agent for a 5 minute interview that doesn’t help them find work. Often their health is at risk because the delay trips to the doctor, they often run out of credit on their phone or maintain bill payments so they don’t have access to a phone or internet, that is crucial tools to find work. Now you consider this before even considering that there are large hordes of unemployed people who don’t want to work. There is a portion that is hard core unemployed, but that is because they have genuine disabilities, they grew up in hard core welfare homes so they simply don’t know what having a work ethic is.What is even more frustrating is that many unemployed find their own volunteering options but they aren’t able to pursue them because the provider isn’t Centrelink provided. It is better for a nation for an unemployed teacher to spend 3 days a week sorting clothes at Vinnies then volunteering to teach English to migrants

      1 REPLY
      • My son is sent by a job agent to a variety (several a week) of menial jobs (delivering pamphlets, stacking shelves, heavy labouring work) that never lead to anything. He could be teaching English or other skills to people, with his degree qualifications. The short term menial jobs seem (to me) to be offered by companies that don’t want to employ people on a more ongoing basis – a cheap way for them to fill their short term labour requirements, and presumably no need for them to pay “on costs” that would be incurred if they actually hired these people.
        My son turns up on time for all his jobs. He struggles to have enough money to pay his rent or food. He has no opportunity to build social relationships with co-workers as one does in a “regular job”, and can’t afford to socialise with the friends he has made through earlier connections at school and university. It is soul-destroying.

  6. Maybe it has another purpose in making the dole bludgers actually work to get their dole! Unfortunately, it wasn’t made mandatory and so was never going to work for those who can’t even spell J.O.B.

    4 REPLY
    • You ignorant fool. No bloody idea. Go and get educated on the facts. And drop the ‘dole’bludger’ bullshit, eh?

    • Cruise on mate we don’t need your derogatory comments calling people dole bludgers will achieve nothing but show you bigotry

    • Pablo , it is not only the young who can’t get jobs and many older Aussies who can get work will read this and that comment is insulting to them

    • As it is obvious that you don’t read or understand properly, I will make it clearer – I am only referring to those who are actually bludging on the dole, NOT those who actually want a job and are doing everything they can to get a job! Methinks perhaps you protesteth too much!

  7. Bring back national service you cant keep handing out money a lot of them don’t or wont work they get it far to easy now

    5 REPLY
    • No national service for our children, there’s enough abuse in the armed forces now thank you.

    • I think the armed forces have enough to deal with already, why should they have to take responsibility for the unemployed (and in many cases unemployable) too?

    • I can’t see the point either Gail Clifford, it’s not going to provide a future after 2 years of marching and manoeuvres.

  8. I don’t believe anyone gets amything from this scheme except for the providers they are the ones getting the money and are a waste of tax payers money.

    2 REPLY
  9. The liberals are happy to let spivs and crooks loose on the public purse, it’s in their DNA. This is in part another step towards “small government”, (lazy government) be alert Medicare is next!

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