APP policy: Welfare and unemployment

The current welfare system has been failing our unemployed, especially the long-term unemployed. This is a problematic situation for workers of all ages, but especially for long-term unemployed youth. The lack of employment can lead to low self-esteem and social withdrawal, let alone affecting the ability to properly provide for one’s future or for a young family.

Work participation programmes for the long-term unemployed
In order to give the long-term unemployed a “leg up” into the workforce, placements with private enterprise shall be made available so as to benefit both unemployed people as well as the businesses. Long-term unemployed shall be offered part-time jobs of three days a week with a private business, thus in effect treating their unemployment benefits as a working wage. The worker’s situation can be reassessed after six months to see if he may benefit from further training, so as to give him more skills for employment.

In recognition of extra expenses that come with working, as well as to ensure that businesses have a stake in training the people involved, the businesses involved shall pay each participating person 25% of the market wage (this being additional to the unemployment benefits the person receives). Businesses may dismiss such workers if they believe they are not performing adequately, this proviso ensuring that businesses are not “trapped” into keeping inappropriate workers, as well as giving workers a “real world” incentive to work hard. However, businesses will only be offered a certain number of workers, so that they cannot use the scheme as a way of securing cheap “factory fodder”.

It is envisaged that, after a period of working in private enterprise, the participating workers will have gained enough skills and practical experience that will enable them to successfully apply for full-time work elsewhere. It is also hoped that many will, after having proven themselves in the workplace for six months, be offered jobs with the businesses in which they have gained their work experiences and skills.

This programme will offer the long-term unemployed the chance to gain workplace skills, job experience that they can carry over to interviews and future jobs, as well as give them the confidence to enable them to gain employment.

Work for the dole schemes
Any workers that are dismissed too many times from their private business placements will be counseled with an eye to ensuring that their aptitude is appropriate to the workplaces involved (to ensure they are not being placed into work too far outside of their talent).

However, if a worker is plainly not working hard enough, or is seemingly intent on being a “dole bludger”, then that person will be transferred to a “work for the dole” scheme in which workers will be required to carry out work with government bodies in the community interest, three days a week, such as cleaning graffiti off from public buildings. After a period of such work, those workers shall be able to be reassessed for private placement and hopefully gain the skills and self-discipline to get themselves a job.

In conjunction with this programme, the government will fund skilled training for the long-term unemployed in fields of employment in which there is a need for workers.

If a private business is impressed with a worker and wishes to keep that person on, but further training is required for the position under consideration, then the government may provide 75% of the training fees.

The overall emphasis of helping the long-term unemployed is to be set upon providing practical working experience and training for job opportunities. At the same time, it will ensure that the small percentage of the unemployed who are actual dole bludgers will not get a free ride, but will be made to work hard for their income. The aim of the programme is to give the long-term unemployed the skills and abilities to re-enter the workforce, not only for the benefit of the economy, but for the benefit and well-being of the workers themselves.


  1. Hi, I wrote to the office of Prime Minister in 1984 (Hawke) to suggest a ‘work for the dole’ program and was sent a reply basically saying that they were not going to force people to work according to the ILO. What bollocks! So they admitted that they are happy for hard working tax payers to fund people who choose to sit in front of a television smoking pot or whatever. Can’t imagine how social policy eggheads such as Jamrozik in his bleeding heart book; ‘social welfare in the post welfare state” can see that as being of any value to some one’s self esteem.

  2. This comes across as an eminently fair and workable policy that will offer genuine help to the long term unemployed, and at the same time targets that very small percentage who abuse the system. It is a sensible middle of the road policy, that is a clear cut rejection of the repugnant philosophy that the innocent majority must be punished for the one or two percent who don’t do the right thing, while avoiding the other extreme.

  3. Buddy Rojek, CPA says

    I agree with the policy. From my discussion with small business owners, those who work for themselves, the ability to get rid of “slackers” is a major impediment to hiring assistance. Many small business owners are practical and not administrative skilled so the various health and safety laws have to be tightened to ensure it is easy to deal with a injured worker, and prevents fraud on behalf of workers with no real medical injury.

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