Remote employment services will change from 1 July to ensure job seekers are active and contributing to their communities to make them better places to live.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Community Development Programme (CDP), formerly the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme, would see unemployed people engaged in meaningful activities and on a pathway to real jobs.
Minister Scullion unveiled details of the new programme at a conference of remote employment service providers today in Darwin.
“People in remote Australia have told us that they want their communities to be vibrant places with people engaged, and real employment and business opportunities,” Minister Scullion said.
“Over the next 12 months, almost 30,000 job seekers aged between 18 and 49 in remote communities will be required to make a meaningful contribution for their welfare payments for up to 25 hours a week.
“We will identify activities within existing institutions, such as local councils, aged care facilities, child care facilities, ranger programmes and schools. Our goal is to support communities and put an end to sit-down money.”
“Training will be available through employment services providers for skills that are needed to fill real jobs in communities in areas such as education, health and trades,” the Minister said.
“I am not expecting this programme to produce dramatic change overnight – but I am hoping that in time, it will give unemployed people new job skills and improve the community where they live.”
The Minister said activities will be broad to ensure as many people are fully occupied up to 25 hours a week.
“There will be incentives for employers and employment service providers to transition jobseekers into real jobs, with payments geared towards achieving a 26 week outcome.
“We know that if we can connect people to work for 26 weeks, there is a very high chance of them staying in work.”
The Minister said activities would be required year-round, but there would be identified leave, including cultural and sick leave, as well as breaks where appropriate, and Christmas shutdown periods.
Download media release:
2015-06-03 Media Release – Remote Employment Programme to Improve Communities..pdf