Work-for-the-dole draws criticism and praise

Ian Palmer.

Ian Palmer.

The work-for-dole scheme launched on July 1 to mixed reviews. The scheme requires unemployed people under the age of 30 to do 25 hours of unpaid labour a week for six months. The jobless will also be asked to apply for 40 jobs a month, double the current requirement.

IAN PALMER of the Schools Industry Partnership (pictured) tells us what he really thinks of the program:   

POSITIVES

■ Helps to re-establish a work routine;

■ Helps job seekers to gain work experience and general employability skills;

■ Expands personal networks and contacts for jobhunting;

■ Some jobseekers will work their way into a job opening if available;

■ Supports charities and community service objectives;

■ Smokes out the small percentage of unemployed that are rorting the system; and

■ Builds local communities.

NEGATIVES

■ Work-for-the-dole should be part of a far more comprehensive jobs plan and a renewed focus on helping employers be youth friendly;

■ Limited, if any, vocational skills development designed into the program. Too much depends on the goodwill of host charities;

■ Unlike private enterprise, charities and government departments have limited job opportunities;

■ Can be dispiriting if placements lack training, meaningful and real work tasks, or direct employment potential;

■ Work-for-the-dole attempts to remediate job skills after the fact, rather than preventing the young person from falling into unemployment in the first place; and

■ Work-for-the-dole is too short. It takes a year or more of stable employment to break the long term unemployment cycle. Better to use work-for-the-dole as six months of pre-employment and training that is then credited into a paid traineeship with a real employer.

READ MORE: Clickhere to read more on western Sydney's youth unemployment.

Tell us what you think about the work-for-the-dole scheme.

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