Ballina’s Seabird Rescue is an excellent example of a community based Work for the Dole project which is delivering positive outcomes for both participants and the host organisation, Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said today.
Minister Hartsuyker and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan today met with representatives from Seabird Rescue and Tursa Employment to hear about how Work for the Dole was helping Ballina’s job seekers gain new skills and give back to the community.
Mr Hogan praised the work of Seabird Rescue and called on other not-for-profit organisations to consider hosting Work for the Dole participants.
“Work for the Dole participants in this project have received experience in animal feeding and rehabilitation, ground maintenance, bush regeneration and refurbishing of the premises,” Mr Hogan said.
“I am delighted to hear two participants have found work thanks to their experience in this Work for the Dole placement and I want to congratulate them.
“Work for the Dole provides participants with invaluable skills and experience but it is also very beneficial for the host organisation. Many community organisations struggle to have adequate resources and Work for the Dole is an ideal way to access more support.
“There are just under 250 people aged 18 to 30 currently participating in Work for the Dole projects in the Page electorate and I would like to see more community organisations take the opportunity to be a part of this programme.
“I was very keen for Minister Hartsuyker to see the outcomes which are being delivered through the Seabird Rescue and discuss the future expansion of the Work for the Dole programme in the Page electorate,” Mr Hogan said.
Work for The Dole participant Kallem Williams, 21 of Ballina, described his six months with the Seabird Rescue as “awesome”.
“It’s been awesome and the people are awesome with an incredible energy who have taught me a lot,” he said. “I’ve learnt a lot about turtles and seabirds.”
Mr Williams said after his mother died a few years ago he had to bring up his little brother, which meant he had little time to focus on work and a career.
“I’ve learnt so much about teamwork here, which is what working is all about, so I am feeling much more ready for work than six months ago.”
Mr Hartsuyker said Work for the Dole was a key part of the Coalition Government’s new jobactive employment services system.
“The Seabird Rescue project highlights why Work for the Dole is a vital part of the jobactive model,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Work for the Dole is one of a suite of measures which the Coalition Government is delivering to help job seekers move from welfare to work. Work for the Dole keeps job seekers engaged and active to avoid a lifetime of welfare dependency.
“From 1 July 2015, most job seekers under 50 will be participating in Work for the Dole as the programme is rolled out nationally. Tursa Employment will be taking on the role of Work for the Dole coordinator for this region, and I welcome their commitment to the programme and to helping local job seekers.
“I join the Member for Page in thanking the Seabird Rescue for hosting this Work for the Dole placement and in congratulating the two participants who have moved into work thanks to this programme. They are examples that Work for the Dole works and I wish them well in their careers.