darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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July 29, 2014

A discussion paper has been released seeking community feedback about new measures to get more people back into the workforce.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the government would spend $5.1 billion over three years to reinvigorate employment services for the benefit of job seekers and employers.

A range of proposals have been released, which include a requirement for jobseekers to apply for a set number of jobs each month, determined by their age.

Mr Chester said the government was seeking feedback until August 25 on the proposed changes, which are designed to provide more workplace experience for job seekers who are fit and able to work.

“My number one priority is to help make sure that as many people as possible in Gippsland have the opportunity to secure a job and provide for their own futures,” he said.

“For those who can’t get a job, we need to make sure they develop skills and maintain a work ethic to make them employable in the future.

“It is important to note this is not a one-size-fits-all approach and I recognise there will be people who can’t work and they will continue to be supported.”

Mr Chester said people living in regional areas would not be expected to apply for the maximum of 40 jobs per month where that is not feasible.

“Obviously, there will be flexibility for people in regional areas where there is not as much work as in the city,” he said.

“In addition to this, regional employment providers will get a 25 per cent loading on top of their eligible payments, compared to their city counterparts.

“And for those people who have to travel longer distances to attend Work for the Dole programs, or can’t access public transport, there is flexibility in these circumstances.”

People who relocate for work will also be compensated, Mr Chester said.

“This includes a $6000 bonus to people who move to a regional area from another regional area, or from the city,” he said.

The government is also providing incentives for employers to take on job-seekers who face additional barriers to finding work.

This includes the Restart subsidy, which offers up to $10,000 to employers who hire workers aged over 50, while there is also a subsidy to support young job seekers under 30.

Mr Chester said Work for the Dole was designed to give people a chance to learn new skills, but also to demonstrate they have a good work ethic and can work as part of a team.

“Employers constantly tell me that the attitude of the job seeker is important when deciding to take them on,” he said.

“Work for the Dole gives these job-seekers a chance to show they are willing to make the transition into full time work, when that opportunity presents itself.”

Further details can be found at www.employment.gov.au

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