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Government to expand Work for the Dole.

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Media Release


Government to Expand Work For The Dole The Howard Government will expand Mutual Obligation from July 1, 2002, introducing Work for the Dole for unemployed people aged 35-39 and making involvement in the programme optional for job seekers aged 40-49.

Employment Services Minister Mal Brough said the expansion of Mutual Obligation was part of the Government’s $1.7 billion Australians Working Together package, which would provide $43 million for an additional 16,500 Work for the Dole places over the next three years.

Currently, jobseekers, aged 18-24 who are unemployed for more than six months or 25-34 who are unemployed for more than 12 months, are required to undertake Work for the Dole or perform community work for six of every 12 months.

From July 1, the requirement will extend to jobseekers aged up to 39 and be standardised to commence after six months’ unemployment. Work for the Dole, for the first time, will be optional for jobseekers aged 40 to 49, who have a similar but lesser Mutual Obligation requirement.

Mr Brough said Mutual Obligation was a two-way street.

"This Government remains committed to the concept of mutual obligation and helping those who are prepared to help themselves in the search for employment," he said.

"We are committed to providing a safety net, but a safety net which comes with some reciprocal expectations and a future that includes a pathway back into employment and out of the welfare system.

"The Government is expanding the range and scope of employment assistance available to jobseekers under Australians Working Together and at the same time we are looking to actively engage more jobseekers in the search for work."

Mr Brough said Work for the Dole was a win-win situation where participants learned valuable work skills and local communities derived considerable benefits.

"But beyond that, it keeps unemployed people engaged and active. It gets them out of their homes and into the community where their chances of finding work are considerably greater.

"More than one-third of people who complete Work for the Dole get a job or begin study or training."

Mr Brough said Mutual Obligation recognised that individuals have a responsibility to help themselves and to contribute to the community.

"This is matched by the responsibilities of Government, business and the community to provide opportunities and support to help people reach their potential," he said.

From July 1, all job seekers who complete Work for the Dole will be eligible for additional training, worth up to $800.


For further information contact:

Greg Jackson  0419 713 246