Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Getting Job Seekers Back To Work

Joint Media Release with:

  • Tony Abbott MP, Minister for Employment Services

A new Preparing for Work Agreement for job seekers was announced today by Minister for Community Services Mr Larry Anthony and Minister for Employment Services Mr Tony Abbott.

From July 1, all job seekers will be asked to complete a ‘Preparing for Work Agreement’ before receiving Newstart Allowance.

“This new Preparing for Work Agreement puts the job seeker in a position to most effectively obtain their fair share of the new jobs being created by the Federal National-Liberal Government’s policies,” said Mr Anthony.

Mr Abbott said the agreement is an important part of the Government’s Mutual Obligation strategy, and will include job search requirements, referrals to Job Network members, referrals to specialist assistance and an agreed list of other activities which each job seeker should undertake to improve their chances of finding work.

“This agreement is designed to ensure that job seekers clearly understand their role and responsibilities and can quickly benefit from Mutual Obligation programmes.

Mr Anthony said the agreement is a new part of the Government’s Preparing for Work initiative, which provides tailored solutions for individuals, empowering job seekers to help themselves.

“The Preparing for Work interview gives job seekers a plan of action designed for their circumstances,” he said.

“Sticking to their agreement will give job seekers their best chance of finding a job.”

Mr Anthony said job seekers who don’t keep their agreement will have their payment reduced. Centrelink will then make more regular checks with employers on that job seeker’s efforts.

“A Social Security payment is a means to an end, not an end in itself – the best help we can give someone is a job, not welfare. This agreement will help achieve that aim.

“The agreement promotes an active welfare system – where Government provides active assistance in exchange for a fortnightly payment,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Abbott said the agreement will give job seekers a clear understanding of what they need to do now and in the future to keep receiving their payment.

“The Preparing for Work Agreement means job seekers can be referred more quickly to mutual obligation programmes from the time they become eligible – cutting the need for further interviews and reducing red tape,” said Mr Abbott.