Inner West Independent

Abolished budget proposal set to benefit inner west jobseekers

Anthony Albanese with community members at the Marrickville Electorate Office. Image: Anthony Albanese

By Chris Sutton

The cancellation of a government proposal to force the unemployed to apply for 40 jobs per month is set to relieve pressure on jobseekers and businesses in the inner west.

The plan, initially proposed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in this year’s federal budget, was set to be enforced next year.

Anthony Albanese, Federal Member of Grayndler, told City Hub that Labor knew the idea wouldn’t work from day one.

“Forcing jobseekers to fill in 40 job applications a month places an unrealistic burden on them and also local businesses,” said Mr Albanese.

“It’s an unfair proposal that won’t help local jobseekers find work.”

The job application proposal, which would have doubled the current application quota of 20, was part of a strategy planned by the Liberal Government to make job searchers look for a position full-time.

Mr Albanese said Labor would have none of it.

“It’s a failed plan from a Liberal Government that doesn’t get the reality of everyday life.”

Penny Holt, Director of Seed Recruitment & Search in Annandale, told City Hub that the results would have been counter-productive.

Ms Holt said jobseekers should be tailoring every application they make to a particular job to meet requirements, rather than sending resumes to jobs that may not be a suitable fit.

“If jobseekers have the opportunity to take the time to make well considered applications, the employer will receive better quality applications and will be in a better position to run a higher quality recruitment process.”

Ms Holt said the proposal would have been frustrating for everyone concerned, as jobseekers are already sending applications that don’t respond to a particular job advertisement.

“They are clearly just sending out applications in order to reach the target number.”

Mr Abbott is not calling the abolishment a backflip, referring to the change as a significant refinement and claiming there is work out there for motivated jobseekers.

Mr Albanese said that when in Government Labor put in place strategies to help jobseekers with apprenticeship support programs and youth connections, which were important locally.

“These programs played an important role in the inner west, making it easier for jobseekers to find work and feel supported.”

Despite this alteration, Abbott remains committed to requiring jobseekers to wait six months after becoming unemployed to be eligible for government benefits.

The Human Rights Committee concluded this six month waiting period was a breach of rights, including the right to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living.

Mr Albanese believes young Australians need support, not punishment, as the struggle to find a job continues.

“Labor will continue to campaign against the six-month waiting period for young jobseekers, which is already proven to be in breach of human rights,” said Mr Albanese.

Ms Holt said the Government would be better off increasing quality assistance, networking, research and advertising in support of young people struggling to find a role in the workplace.

“Starving jobseekers of income will only further perpetuate thoughtless and desperate job seeking.”


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