North set to work for dole

THE next stage of the Work for the Dole program has been rolled out, with a Northern work co-ordinator announced yesterday.

Northern Tasmania was one of 18 areas selected for the first phase of the federal government's Work for the Dole program that came out of the May budget.

Launceston employment agency Max Employment has been appointed as the co-ordinator, and will be the first point of contact for organisations that wish to participate in the program.

It will be responsible for identifying suitable jobs for participants.

Those between the ages of 18 and 30 who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and are receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance will be required to work at a non-profit organisation, local council or government agency for about 15 hours a week.

It is understood the program, which was set to be phased in from July 1, will get under way next month.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said he was delighted to help job seekers move into work.

"Work for the Dole is an important part of the federal government's plan to help young job seekers gain the skills and experience they need to move into work," Mr Nikolic said.

Mr Nikolic said the program would help young job seekers remain active and engaged while looking for work and allow them to give back to the community.

Franklin Labor MHR Julie Collins said the rollout was late.

"What they need to focus on in Tasmania is job creation, not just punitive measures to get people into Work for the Dole," she said.

"There's no doubt Work for the Dole does work for a certain cohort of people but it is not the only answer."

The government has invested $5.1 billion into the new employment services system, in an effort to help more job seekers into work and off welfare.