News

Anger over 40 jobs per month rule for dole

THE Federal Government will soon force every Gladstone dole recipient to submit 480 job applications a year.

The Willcock family would be happy to land just one of those jobs for which they apply.

"Every day that begins at Centrelink is a bad day," Zeb Willcock said. "There is nothing here in Gladstone.

"Everyone expects you to have qualifications, but Centrelink won't help us get there.

"It would be more effective to invest money in helping people become skilled."

>> Employment agency staffer slams dole changes

Mr and Mrs Willcock are just two of the 6074 Flynn residents who will be forced to work 15-25 hours every week in return for financial assistance.

People under 50 will have to meet current criteria, which includes reporting fortnightly, while also applying for at least 40 jobs a month.

Those under 30 face a six-month wait for any type of monetary assistance, commencing next July.

However, they will still have to meet the government's job seeking tally, despite not receiving dole benefits.

Job seekers like the Willcocks will have to apply for jobs outside of Gladstone to meet the monthly quota.

Leading employment website Seek currently lists only 430 jobs in the Gladstone region.

Resident Lisa Newby agreed the local market could not at this time satisfy demand.

"There's very little work here in Gladstone at the moment," she said.

Gladstone's Peter Hemsley was critical of the job application criteria.

"Twenty jobs I could understand, but 40 - that's just ridiculous," he said.

The changes could have an impact on the region's health system, resident Jeffrey Leask said.

"People will just go to the doctor's to avoid getting cut off," Mr Leask said.

Gladstone's Jody Johnson supported the changes.

"I think it will bring a lot more opportunities to those seeking work," she said.

Topics:  centrelink, dole, federal government, job applications



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