Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott AAP - David Crosling

Local jobseekers first targets on Abbott’s Work for Dole hit list

UNEMPLOYED youth in the Northern Rivers will be some of the first targeted under the Abbott government's new Work for the Dole scheme, coming into effect on July 1.

The scheme will be rolled out to 18 of Australia's highest areas for youth unemployment, including Ballina, Byron Bay, Richmond, Tweed and Clarence Valley.

The new arrangements will apply to six areas in NSW, five in Queensland, four in Victoria and one each in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

The rollout will mean jobseekers in the targeted areas aged 18 to 30 years who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and are receiving Newstart and/or Youth Allowance will be required to work for the dole.

They will need to complete about 15 hours per week in a work-like environment for six months unless they find part-time or full-time employment.

Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients currently have the option of actively seeking work, working to improve their competitiveness in the labour market or doing community service.

Work for the Dole places will be sourced in not-for-profit organisations, local councils and Federal and State government agencies.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said the program would help young jobseekers remain engaged while looking for work.

"The Australian Government believes that all Australians who are capable of working should be working - ideally for a wage but, if not, for the dole," he said.

"Work for the Dole provides participants with the chance to demonstrate many of the skills and behaviours that employers look for in candidates, such as commitment, teamwork and punctuality."

The program will be extended to the rest of the country from July 1 next year, and the mandatory work hours raised to 25 hours a week.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said the government would appoint a Work for the Dole co-ordinator for Page, with tenders to be called this week.

"These co-ordinators will have the job of identifying local organisations willing to host a Work for the Dole place, and connecting those organisations with employment service providers in the area," he said.

Tender details are online at http://www.tenders.gov.au.



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