Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Getting Job Seekers Back To Work

With more than 500,000 jobs created since this Government came to power, Minister for Community Services Mr Larry Anthony has announced a range of measures that aim to ensure job seekers on Newstart Allowance receive a better share of those jobs.

Mr Anthony said the new measures were part of the National-Liberal Government’s Preparing for Work programme.

“Preparing for Work means job seekers have a plan of action tailored for their circumstances, outlining their responsibilities and obligations from their first interview with Centrelink,” said Mr Anthony.

“Building on the Preparing for Work framework, the Government is now introducing other measures to encourage and support job seekers back into work sooner.

“Part-time work, for instance, is often a stepping stone to full-time work. Job seekers are encouraged to take part-time work opportunities by halving their job search requirements if they take on such work.

“At the same time, job seekers who leave part-time jobs for no good reason will have their payments reduced or cancelled.

“To encourage a vigorous job search, most job seekers now need to increase the number of job applications they make each fortnight.

“However, the Government recognises local employment factors, and people in rural and regional Australia will not be expected to meet the same requirements as those in high employment areas such as Sydney.

“Sticking to their Preparing to Work Plan gives job seekers their best chance of finding a job and those who don’t stick to their plan will have their payment reduced. Centrelink will then make more regular checks on that job seeker’s efforts.”

Mr Anthony said Centrelink would continue to work to improve and add to Preparing to Work, providing job seekers with the best possible chance of getting back to work as soon as possible.

“A low paid job is nearly always better than no job, and often leads to a good job, which is why we are telling job seekers they must look for and accept any offer of suitable work,” said Mr Anthony.
“Where labour shortages are identified, for example the lead up to the Olympics or seasonal work, job seekers now have to show they are looking for work in those industries.”

All new job seekers will receive a Preparing for Work information seminar and a handbook on effective job search, and Centrelink will link job seekers with employers by inviting local employers and Job Network members to these seminars.