Making most of bad run
Breaking the unemployment cycle can be done, writes
BEING unemployed but wanting to work is hard – and the longer spent in limbo only makes things harder.
Gaps in the resume become larger, referees become less relevant, experience becomes outdated and it’s easy to lose motivation.
But jobseekers can make the most of their time while unemployed by enrolling in the Federal Government’s Work for the Dole initiative.
The work experience program places jobseekers in activities where they can gain skills, experience, contacts, referees and confidence to get back into the workforce.
For some jobseekers, the program is compulsory but others sign up voluntarily to reap the benefits.
Recipients of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance or those receiving Parenting Payments whose youngest child is at least six years old need to complete an Annual Activity Requirement for six months each year.
This might be through Work for the Dole or another activity such as part-time work, parttime study or voluntary work.
Those aged 30 or younger need to complete 25 hours a week while those aged 30-59 years complete 15 hours.
Jobseekers with only a partial capacity to work or principal carers can roughly halve their commitment.
Employment, community and work services provider Workskil Australia is one organisation that helps find Work for the Dole placements for jobseekers.
Chief executive Nicole Dwyer says most jobseekers are keen to break the unemployment cycle and make themselves work-ready.
“These placements are an important stepping stone in a jobseeker’s journey to sustainable employment and financial independence,” she says. “Confidence and feelings of self-worth can take a battering when you’re struggling to find a job.
“It can become a vicious circle, making it even more difficult to enter the workforce.
“It is time that we debunked the myths that have unfairly tarnished and dragged down unemployed people in the past.
“From the many unemployed people Workskil Australia assists, there is an overwhelming desire to contribute to the community in some way.
“The challenge ahead is to encourage more organisations to be involved as the more organisations that engage with jobseekers, the more the community as a whole will benefit.”
ADRIANNA Zotti was long-term unemployed when Workskil Australia connected her with RSPCA SA to volunteer as part of the Work for the Dole program.
“When you’re unemployed, you struggle to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning, but in the Work for the Dole program you have a