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Job Network reform: fund Intensive Assistance, not Work for the Dole.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Employment

Press Release Dated: 7 Aug 2000 Press Release Number: 00/469 Portfolio: Employment 

Job Network reform: fund Intensive Assistance, not Work for the Dole If the Government wants to help long-term unemployed people find work, it must stop funding Work for the Dole at the expense of Intensive Assistance, said the Australian Democrats’ Employment Spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Responding to an ACOSS analysis of Job Network released today, Senator Stott Despoja said:

“In the 1999-2000 Budget, the Federal Government took approximately $80 million out of Intensive Assistance to expand Work for the Dole. This cut 25,000 desperately-needed places from Intensive Assistance.

“This was despite Government figures showing that Work for the Dole is not performing as well as the Working Nation programs it replaced, and that the case management offered under Intensive Assistance remains the best way of getting long-term unemployed into work.

“High long-term unemployment is entirely the Government’s fault. It is the result of pouring funding into Work for the Dole, a program which does nothing to address the barriers to employment faced by so many long-term unemployed.

“This funding is desperately needed to provide targeted training and assistance to jobseekers. At present, there are not nearly enough Intensive Assistance places, yet the Government continues to expand Work for the Dole well beyond the limited demand.

“The Minister for Employment Services, Tony Abbott, cannot maintain that there is not enough funding for this assistance, when Work for the Dole receives almost $360million, despite its lack of employment outcomes.

“Falling unemployment is less the consequence of Government employment policy than economic growth. The role of Job Network has largely been to assist job-ready jobseekers into work under Job Matching.

“However, it is obvious that the vast majority of long-term unemployed are not getting the help they need, either through lack of access, or because they receive inadequate assistance. The Minister must address these failings as a matter of urgency,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 14:03:33