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Work for Dole 'more about ideology than evidence'

Member for Page Kevin Hogan says the response to the work for the dole plan has been overwhelmingly positive.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan says the response to the work for the dole plan has been overwhelmingly positive.

WORK for the Dole is a program supported by ideology rather than evidence, says a North Coast youthwork manager.

George Mudford is the general manager of Youth Connections North Coast Inc, a not-for-profit community organisation which delivers services and programs to young people and their families.

Mr Mudford said if previous Work for the Dole-type programs were anything to go by, the new scheme would not be as successful as hoped.

"These types of programs in the past have been proven not to be the most effective way to help increase their employability skills," he said.

"Some of the evidence for work for the dole in the '90s was under 50 per cent success rate.

"It just doesn't match up."

According to Mr Mudford, the concept's attitudes also seemed to reinforce negative stereotypes of young unemployed people as dole bludgers.

"It's a stigmatising program for people to be involved in," he said.

"When it's branded Work for the Dole, for the purposes of trying to push out the image that these people are bludgers, that's a really limited view of what we deal with here on a daily basis."

Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the new scheme would strive to up skill participants and said there would be safety nets in place for young people in isolated regions.

"It's difficult for one size fits all but the intention is not a negative intention, the language we use on this is not negative," he said

"We want people to have positive experiences and we want them to have an avenue to find success.

"This isn't about them just digging a hole, they won't be left by themselves and they will certainly be learning skills - both tangible and intangible."

Mr Hogan the feedback he had received from job service providers and the community was overwhelmingly positive.

Topics:  clarence valley, dole, employment, politics, work




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