Older Australians to work for the dole from July 519



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For years the ‘work for the dole’ system has been exclusive to those aged 18-30, but from July, anyone up to the age of 50 looking for work will need to be in the program.

We’ve been taxpayers our whole lives, and this is believed to be at the core of why this overhaul of the job placement system is occurring – to end the wasteful taxpayer subsidised training that isn’t putting people into jobs.

A national program, to be introduced in July, will encompass all job seekers up to the age of 49, News Corp reports.

This is a part of the federal government’s re-worked $5.1 billion job services system, which also includes reducing the amount of payment down to just five and putting tougher conditions on those who are seeking the dole. Do you this it’s about time?

All job seekers will need to meet new requirements that include 15 hours of work a week, for six months of every year they remain unemployed. They will also need to apply for 20 jobs a month.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker told News Corp the overhaul is coming because “Job seekers complained of completing endless amounts of training but with no job opportunities; one job seeker told me he could have wallpapered a room with all the certificates he had”.

Job providers have come under fire in recent years, with revelations of misused funds and failing to place long-term job seekers into work. Now there’ll be more financial incentives for these providers.

This new work for the dole system signals a massive change to the overall welfare system, and before long, it could be the over 60s who are targeted to get back into work.

Tell us today, do you think those under 50 should be forced to work for the dole? What would you do if this changed to those under 60, or 70? 

Starts at 60 Writers

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

  1. It is a waste of time and taxpayers money, this system does not get anyone a job..people need to be out there searching for work for themselves, that time would be better spent job hunting than picking up papers on the beach

    2 REPLY
    • Leanne in some country areas it was a good thing as our show society used the workers to complete tasks under supervision and giving them new skills . It allowed our wonderful volunteers like my husband to be able to get more work done in their farms and businesses. Volunteers are often the lifeblood of our country organisations.! Some of the folks on the scheme even came back and volunteered for our local show.

      1 REPLY
      • Nonsense. I was in a country area who participated in a very early work for the dole type scheme in the early 1990’s. We were meant to be rehabilitating an area by planting native saplings. Didn’t plant a tree for year. The experience was humiliating and it game me zero skills. The only way I was able to get a job was by skipping the program and searching. We were out there by 8am, never got back to town until after Centerlink shut, we had no way for applying for jobs.

    • Janet I agree volunteers are Australia’s life blood but these people are being forced to do this and honestly I think they would be better off getting out there and searching for a job..the more on unemployment the less money The Government will have to pay pensions and for infrastructure

  2. I lost my job when I was 60 & still had to do volunteer work & courses, nothing wrong with that, it helps keep you in some form of routine

    10 REPLY
    • I have just left the workforce, I am 62. I have rheumatoid arthritis and to get Newstart I either have to work 15 hours a week or volunteer for the same time which like you I don’t mind,but I am limited in what I can do. I do have super which I don’t want to touch until I am 65.

      1 REPLY
      • Hi Sue I volunteer at St.Vinnies I was doing 15hrs a week, I came off Centerlink and still go in one day a week , even though it takes me 30 minutes drive to get there. You meet the most beautiful people there, and there is plenty of little jobs for people with disabilities to do. Don’t be scared do it you will love it !

    • Hi Sue. I hope your volunteer organisation respects you enough to offer work to suit your capabilities. Xxx

    • Sue the Red CrOSS shops are always looking for volunteers and the work is not hard and you would have good company.

    • I am nearly 61 and need to find 4 days a week paid employment to sustain myself. It’s just not there.

    • lol not much chance of improving the mind now Halina I am now approching 66 & have had custody of my nearly 3 year old grandaughter for the last 2 years

    • Well, I retired almost 2 years now, and not depending to the govt. I’m using my self funded super. Next year I’ll be 65 hope I will get something from the govt. plus my super. Even small things!!!

    • when my husband retired at 66 I had not long before left my position of 4 years..I was a few months off 60 and to get any sort of payment I until I could find more work I was required to di 15 hours a week Volunteer work.. This I did and for 4 & 1/2 years I coordinated for the Kidney Support network.. Running an Op Shop for them .. I averaged 20 to 25 hours a week all volunteered.. organised rosters, staff, donations of clothing and washing everything etc I loved it as you can see by the hours I worked .. I Left not because I had already turned the magic age but because we moved away.. I think this is the best idea of Centrelink and keeps you up and running , mentally and physically fit!!! .. I am now coming up 68 and after offering volunteer services a year ago to a Local Art Gallery where I live I instead became a casual PAID worker .. yes on the pay roll!! how about that… and once again love it…

    • I am sure there are jobs for school crossing supervisors in your area… I know its a drag to stand there for 45 min

      1 REPLY
      • Cheryl I hope that you are not suggesting that Sue Ellen works as a crossing supervisor. While I am not anti the idea of ‘work for the dole’ someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis would, I believe, simply not be capable of doing the task. Keeping children and other safe requires a certain amount of physical capability which Sue Ellen probably does not have.

  3. Been there, on both sides of this fence. No, it wont work and it’s scare tactics, by federal govt. The sheer stress that Centrelink and Job Netwok Providers put you thru is absurd. It they did their job, their half of expectations it would help but experience has been that all the hard yakker of looking for Work is on the job seeker. If no jobs local you will be expected to travel for a job daily. This will put frail people in their graves early.

    Also, I believe this Legislation has not gone through Parliament as yet, that Labor are opposed and will continue to oppose.

    1 REPLY
  4. Should be the kids working who can’t get jobs and then maybe there mightn’t be as much crime

    7 REPLY
    • These comments are so judgmental. I know some people judge older people because of our age, I don’t think this is fair, just as some of these comments are not fair.

      1 REPLY
      • Ladies posting above – with one exception(thank goodness) – do you know this for an actual fact? Australia wide? I think not.

    • My son is 21 is desperate for a job.he applies for at least 3 jobs a DAY.NOT EVERY YOUNG PERSON IS ON DRUGS AND DOES CRIME. For god sakes leave the young ones alone.some dont want to get a job but alot do.my son does work for the dole at salvos and enjoys it.he has done courses and has his white card.dont paint them ALL with the same brush

  5. This is interesting I am over 60’s and I do over 15hours volunteer hours and love it. Working would improve my money situation and I would be out and about more but really who are they trying to kid employers won’t employ any one who can stand a up for themselves and do a really great job. They want rude upstarts (sound like my Dad) who do half the job. I think they need to rethink anyone over the age of 60 could be on a part pension and part Newstart or put up into another bracket but as long as they are either doing 15hours work or volunteering that would suit the rules for over 60’s. The payment would need to be a damn side more than it is now especially if you are a home owner.

    1 REPLY
    • Mys son is 50 and through no fault of his own was made redundant 3 years ago. A local job provider he was sent to did nothing to help him get work. He goes in for his monthly appointment and spends less than 5 minutes and then told to come back in a month. Is this what is called job providing. He loves retail and has sent in many applications and never gets a reply. One salesperson told him that rarely does retail employ anyone over 45. He was in his last position for 7yrs.

  6. Where are all the jobs to come from – there’s not enough jobs available as it is. With more people having to work part-time for the dole will mean even less jobs available for people to get off the dole. By the way, I’m 68 and still working to pay off my mortgage. The government should put more effort into creating enough real jobs to fill the demand – that would solve the problem.

    15 REPLY
    • How do you propose governments make jobs? Wave their magic wand? You still work in your sixties! My husband does too. You find work as does my husband.

    • There are a lot of organisations that could really do with extra volunteers to help out but can’t afford to employ extra staff. My mother belongs to an association that provides home help for the elderly but also meet once a week and sometimes go on outings and holidays. Volunteer drivers, kitchen help etc make such a difference and also ones who are willing to come in and go through light exercise or painting etc just for something different.

    • there are lots of jobs out there… most of the time people just wont move to take them… overseas backpackers dont seem to have any trouble getting jobs… we often hear of fruit growers cant get workers… if you want to work you can .. there is no excuse as long as you are fit enough… by the way im 67 and still work full time… think if the government wants older Australians to work give the an incentive to carry on… tax breaks would be a good start

    • I think it depends on your location. Painting this whole situation with such broad brush stokes is absurd. Each person’s situation is UNIQUE.

    • One way to increase the amount of jobs is to get rid or reduce penalty rates it will eventually happen

    • My son only 26can geta job just like that, hes a boilermaker by trade but is willing to try any thing hes,never with out work so there are jobs out there but you must be prepared to go out and knock on doors as he always says no one is going to knock on,your door and offer one to you so you have to knock on theirs,not refering to the older generation by the way,weve done our share

    • Molly if they did their jobs properly and stopped going off on every tangent possible – they could put more effort in building up the country again – if they can’t do that, then get out and let someone else have a go.

    • I have just tried to get a home cleaner for 3 days all too busy, eventually found one who starts at 5am until 9am 2pm to 6pm and 6pm until 9pm, luckily she fitted me in from 9am until 2pm on Friday, so there is work there if only a lot of people wuld get of there backsides and do it, be it paid work or volunteering.

    • There has NEVER been a shortage of jobs, and never will be !! … just a shortage of money to pay for them !! … next thing will be to open the “work for the dole” scheme to the private sector …

    • It’s easy to work out the more people work the more money they spend and this is what creates more jobs!

  7. Having worked for many years in the “getting long term unemployed into work” arena, I can tell you first hand that in most cases this whole scheme is a “rip off” no matter how well intentioned the provider. I recall at one point having the same participants come through my programs (from what was then known as the CES) year after year, being recycled often against their will and certainly not in line with their abilities or likely work outcome.

    I also worked (as a trainer/educator) for many RTOs (colleges) who awarded certificate and diploma qualifications to students who would never succeed either in work or higher education (some used their pieces of paper to enter university at year 2 level) but who nevertheless paid thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars for this “privilege:.

    Yes, it’s time to overhaul this system, to stop wasting taxpayer money on meaningless (obviously not considered so by the provider reaping all the financial rewards of this system) training programs.

    Personally, I think it’s a good idea to have people who are unemployed and receiving welfare payments, to contribute to the economy through working. But – and it’s a big “but”, it needs to be targetted – not only to match suitable employment with suitable candidates, but also where there is a real possibility of unemployed individuals actually achieving their goals and being placed in meaningful employment. And that’s a huge ask.

    The “system” has been out of whack for a long time. I wish any government who takes this on, the best of luck. And I hope they do it properly.

  8. Now what do you mean by older? Senior is 60 plus they shouldn’t be made to do this most started work around the age of 15 they have done enough their not all strong and healthy, there are hundreds of young people that are getting older but never worked why not get them up and running and leave the older people alone health is making life hard enough thanks very bloody much

    18 REPLY
    • I could not agree more. I stayed home to look after my children and have not been in the workforce for some years. I feel I have done my time. I live in regional QLD and not a lot of work about.

    • I agree Rosalie because once they have the 50 year olds, they will definitely start on the next age bracket. There needs to be a consistency across the board in checking who is and who isn’t doing thier hours for WFTD.

    • Even fifty you are past it in the eyes of employers.I went through trying to get a job & i was a tradesman printer.& was told by centerlink that i had to take any work available.I was ok with that but still got knocked back for work.These idiots interviewing you for work will get older & they might find themselves being treated like a second class citizens one day & have to work for the dole.There is no answer to this problem period.

    • I am sure they wouldn’t be running around, there are many sedentary jobs these days. All you see is people behind computers?

    • Rosalie, when I was 60 I didn’t class myself as a senior!!.. I am now 71 and am working part time. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have contact with others and also keep fit. I also have arthritis (and not mildly) – why should that stop me. I have been working where I am for 10 years and retirement is not on my mind. At least i’m not a burden on the Govt.!!

    • I am 69 and in ill health I won’t be working. And I have never voted labor in my life but the way these two clowns are going we will be they are a biter disappointed

    • I was offered a job at 64 I wasn’t looking for work, I was happily retired as a self funded retiree. At first I said no i wasn’t interested, but they kept insisting so eventually I took the job and stayed there until I was 67. No I’m not on the dole or pension and never have been.

    • Couldn’t agree more!! When are the government going to get real!!!! Joe Hockey stated the other day, this wording might not be exact!! “There’s no reason older Australians cannot work into their 70’s”” you get out on the tools and do some heavy manual labour Joe then make this statement

    • Totally agree Rosalie. I am 60, on my own. Do I get no money, such as it is when I don’t work? Well, I suppose he did find a way to get rid of the baby boomers after all! Hmmm!

  9. your joking..they want to so send all us over to work for the pension in the future? Well excuse me if I laugh, although I admit we are wonderful 🙂 I can just see us in our wheel chairs , walkers and cane shuffling along picking up papers or whatever they do..NOT.

    2 REPLY
    • I don’t even trust that they won’t want us to do it..after all they are trying to get over 65’s back to work

    • Please don’t be obtuse. Listen to what is being implemented. We need to get able-bodied, younger people off the welfare system, otherwise there will be NO money for older, retirees and people with a real disability!

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