Tough work for dole

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith

WHEN Anthony Ryan and Sarah Hed­des signed up for Cen­tre­link, they didn’t think they would be work­ing harder than in a paid job.

But the two young Gayn­dah res­i­dents are not com­plain­ing.

They even said they hoped their work with Bur­nett Catch­ment Care As­so­ci­a­tion, through the Federal Govern­ment’s work-for-the-dole pro­gram, would even­tu­ally turn into a paid po­si­tion.

From July 1, people aged18 to 35 who are re­ceiv­ing New­start or Youth Al­lowance pay­ments are re­quired to join the North Bur­nett’s pi­lot of work-for-the-dole pro­gram, which will roll out across the coun­try next year.

Mr Ryan and Ms Hed­des were of­fered po­si­tions with Bur­nett Catch­ment Care As­so­ci­a­tion and have been plant­ing trees along the Bur­nett River in Mun­dub­bera to strengthen its banks.

“I’ve worked on the or­chards around here for the last eight years, but all the back­pack­ers beat me to the jobs this time,” Mr Ryan said.

But Mr Ryan is now in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing other qual­i­fi­ca­tions, like chainsaw op­er­at­ing cer­tifi­cates on of­fer through BCCA.

Ms Hed­des was un­suc­cess­ful in her job search in the Gayn­dah shops, so was also re­quired to join the BCCA Ri­par­ian Re­cov­ery Pro­gram.

“It is re­ally hard work, be­ing out­side plant­ing trees all day,” the 18-year-old said.

“Even­tu­ally I would like to work with kids, but I wouldn’t mind this turn­ing into a paid po­si­tion ei­ther.”

Field co-or­di­na­tor Dutch An­beek said a bit of work needed to be done on the river­banks, so he was happy to re­ceive new people through the pro­gram.

“A few people still feel in­cred­i­bly hard done by and let me know all the time, but oth­ers are ex­cel­lent,” he said.

Of­fice co-or­di­na­tor Fiona Mor­ris said de­spite the pro­gram be­ing com­pul­sory, people who didn’t work well would be sent back to the em­ploy­ment provider to find work else­where.

“It’s about at­ti­tude,” she said.

“If people are neg­a­tive, they bring down the whole team and they won’t be wel­come back.”

On the other hand, Ms Mor­ris said any­one who showed ini­tia­tive was likely to get work and the as­so­ci­a­tion had em­ployed two work-for-the-dole people full-time for the Ri­par­ian Re­cov­ery Pro­gram in the past week.

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