Independent report finds work for the dole effective

An independent evaluation of the Work for the Dole pilot which ran from 1 July 2014 has found the programme was effective in helping participants gain confidence and self-esteem and learn skills such as team work, communication and appropriate workplace behavior.

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15 showed how the programme is helping more Australians get work-ready.

“This Government is determined to help every Australian who is able to find work,” Ms Price said.

“Work is the foundation of the economic security of individuals, of the nation and is the glue that makes our communities strong.

“That’s why we have invested in the Work for the Dole programme which places job seekers in activities where they can gain skills and experience in roles that also give back to the community.”

The independent evaluation by the Social Research Centre and the Australian National University found that of the participants surveyed: 

  • 83 per cent agreed that Work for the Dole is an opportunity to give back to the community
  • 79 per cent agreed that the routine was good for them
  • 81 per cent said they were treated like a valuable member of staff
  • 81 per cent said they were satisfied with the amount of responsibility they were given
  • 76 per cent said they were satisfied with the amount of work
  • 74 per cent said they were satisfied with the variety of tasks
  • 68 per cent agreed that their placement was a valuable experience 

“It’s also pleasing to note that host organisations, many of them community groups and charities, saw Work for the Dole as an opportunity to undertake activities and complete tasks they would otherwise not have the resources to do,” Ms Price said.

The Work for the Dole pilot was conducted in 18 selected areas and was open to job seekers aged 18 to 29 years.  It ran for one year in preparation for the national rollout of Work for the Dole under jobactive on 1 July 2015. 

Work for the Dole activities can be hosted by not-for-profit and government organisations. The programme gives organisations an extra set of hands to help to undertake activities that would not normally be done.

“I encourage more community groups to consider hosting Work for the Dole participants,” Minister from Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said.

“It’s a win for those groups giving them extra people to continue their good work, and it’s a win for participants, learning new skills whilst supporting the community that is supporting them.”

Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15 is based on a range of evidence including in-depth interviews with job seekers, host organisations, Work for the Dole coordinators, employment services providers and programme managers in the Department of Employment. In addition, a telephone survey of 700 eligible job seekers was undertaken.

To find out more about Work for the Dole visit:

To see the full Evaluation of Work for the Dole 2014-15 report visit