New requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits will see the jobless rolling up their sleeves and investing the time on their hands doing community work.
Unemployed Australians wishing to collect unemployment benefits will have to comply with strict new conditions before qualifying for this benefit said prime minister Tony Abbott about changes to the so-called ‘work for the dole’ scheme which will come in to affect in July 2015.
Australians on the dole will now be expected to prove that they are applying for more jobs and use the free time on their hands to help with community service. Mr Abbott said beneficiaries of unemployment benefits will have to apply for no less than 40 jobs a month and supply proof of their involvement in community for up to 25 hours a week.
While the prime minister is facing criticism for villainising the unemployed, Abbott says the reforms will further discourage welfare dependency.
From July 2015 the new conditions for collecting the dole would require the under thirties to contribute 25 hours of their time to community work and those between 30 and 49 putting in 15 hours a week. The over fifties will, for the first time, be expected to complete 15 hours training a week.
Opportunities would be sourced through recruitment agencies and volunteer networks while training for the more senior unemployed would be available through their involvement at local businesses.
Assistant employment minister, Luke Hartsuyker said, “It is absolutely obvious that if you’re sitting at home not looking for work, you’re unlikely to get a job.”
“It is no one’s interest to have jobseekers languishing on welfare,” added Hatsuyker, saying the new scheme would give beneficiaries a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
“There is no point giving someone who has spent 30 years in the work force, who has been retrenched, work experience.”
Economist Callam Pickering, wrote on the Business Spectator website: “Participation in these programmes mostly diverts participants away from job seeking activities towards what is often menial and unrewarding work.”
“Programmes such as Work for the Dole are pretending to find solutions to problems that can more easily be solved through greater economic growth.
“Harsh and ineffective welfare reform will achieve little more than punishing younger Australians and the long-term unemployed for economic conditions they played no role in creating.”
The government’s proposed changes are also facing blow-back from Australian business entities who say there is a high risk that companies will simply be spammed and swamped with unqualified and ungenuine job applications from welfare recipients simply trying to meet their 40 per month quota.