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WA job seekers facing harsh Work for the Dole regime

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 28 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens said today that the Federal Government is ignoring measures that would help unemployed West Australians into work, instead looking to expand cruel Work for the Dole regimes.

"As of March 2014 there were 59,107 West Australians on Newstart and 9,389 on the job seeker rate of Youth Allowance, two payments which are deeply inadequate and force people to live in poverty," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"Work for the Dole will not address the fundamental barriers to employment that people are facing. Subjecting people to even tougher compliance requirements does not help deal with issues lack of available jobs, discrimination, a lack of training or the fact they can't afford rent, food and clothes.

"Work for the Dole placements don't provide the specific training and support jobseekers need, and ignores issues like age discrimination against older jobseekers, which is a growing problem for people in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

"Reports from organisations such as Anglicare Australia have found that programs using case management, post-employment support and personally tailored services are most effective at helping people into work. These programs need strong links with local employers and other support services, and they put a focus on placing people into quality positions that meet their interests and needs.

"The Government is ignoring this evidence in favour of policies that just punish jobseekers. One size does not fit all, treating people as the individual human beings they are will have much better results. If jobs aren't available, it is a nonsense to say people have to apply for at least a job a day.

"We need to ensure that job services have the resources they need to help people address their own circumstances and move into a secure job.

"The Government should be investing in job services and lifting the inadequate rates of Newstart and Youth Allowance by $50 per week so that job seekers are actually supported and helped back into the workforce, rather than being left in poverty," Senator Siewert concluded.


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