House debates

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Constituency Statements

Work for the Dole

9:39 am

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to support the government's Work for the Dole arrangements for job seekers in the Logan employment area.

From July 1, 18- to 30-year-olds who live within the Logan area Work for the Dole trial site have the opportunity to learn new skills through on-the-job training. That is incredibly important because youth unemployment in the electorate of Forde is around 17 per cent, sitting some four percentage points higher than the national average.

When I am out in the electorate speaking with young job seekers they often say the biggest hurdle they face in obtaining a job is being asked whether or not they have the required experience for the position they are applying for. Employers recognise qualifications, but they want the experience that goes with that. More often than not these young people are missing out on positions because they lack that job experience. Most young people are willing to learn and want to contribute. They want to start being financially independent, and that is why giving them this opportunity through the Work for the Dole scheme is so terrific. When young people take part in Work for the Dole they will be able to demonstrate to employers that they have experience in the workforce using their particular set of skills. It will be less likely that they will be turned down for not having any experience once they have spent some time contributing to the workforce.

In Ford, MAX Network Pty Ltd has been selected as the organisation to help grow the Work for the Dole activities in our local area. The government is committed to reinvigorating the Work for the Dole program which helps young job seekers to remain active and engaged while looking for work, while at the same time giving something back to the community that supports them. Participants will be able to demonstrate to employers just how keen and willing they are to work as a result of their enthusiasm on the job. A new Work for the Dole program will include a mix of individual and group based activities with community organisations such as not-for-profits and local councils. MAX network will serve as the first point of contact for organisations in Logan wishing to be involved in the Work for the Dole scheme, and will help match job seekers to available places.

I strongly believe that the best form of welfare is a job. The worst thing we can do as a government and as a nation is allow our young people to drift into welfare dependency. In addition to Work for the Dole, the government is supporting young job seekers through the new Job Commitment Bonus that provides a financial bonus to young job seekers who move off welfare and stay in a job, thereby investing some $5.1 billion into new employment services to assist more job seekers into work. I congratulate MAX Network and welcome their commitment to Work for the Dole and to helping more job seekers into work in our region. I look forward to reviewing the results of this program and hope to see many more young people employed within local businesses and organisations.