The news this week that more 35,000 people on unemployment benefits had refused to accept job offers was startling. Simply because if you have the opportunity to take up employment there is, mostly, no reason not to do so. The fact a person might not be paid more than the dole or only a bit more is no reason to reject paid employment.
Unemployment benefits are only there to help out people who are trying to get a job but can’t. If the job entails cleaning toilets, picking up roadside rubbish or cleaning up after a sporting event, then so be it.
I have always believed in the concept of working for the dole.
That is, if you receive unemployment benefits you are required to undertake some sort of community work. Or you have to enrol in an approved course of skill training that makes you more employable – and that the cost is met by the government when an unemployed person simply can’t afford to do that.
Of course, a person’s physical and mental condition must be taken into consideration at all times.
The general principle that no one is owed a living will always ring true.
OK, that’s the moral outrage out of the way. So where to from here?
The bottom line is that if you are capable of working, work is available and you refuse to work,then you don’t receive unemployment benefits.
But what about the children of the unemployed and their basic living and education needs? Well, then we implement a food, education, clothing voucher system.
Which is great, except that to administer such a system we have to create a massive bureaucracy to do so.
I don’t know what 35,000 as a percentage of all Australians of employable age is.
And I don’t know what percentage it is as a total of all Australians that are on government benefits.
What I do want to know is where these jobs that 35,000 people knocked back actually came from – and what percentage of them were in regional areas?
I know from personal experience that jobs are not all that easy to come by – especially if you do not have tertiary level qualifications.
We are told that there are plenty of jobs out there if you are prepared to work.
Not true, even for basic “entry level” jobs – especially for mature workers.
I remember applying for a particular job, but despite being more than qualified for the position I did not even receive an interview.
I was told in the email informing me that I was unsuccessful that I should contact a certain person in the Wagga Wagga office for some feedback.
Well, I tried four times and the best I got was a staff member ringing me late on a Friday afternoon telling me she was going home in 10 minutes and if I did not catch her she would ring me on the following Tuesday. It didn’t happen.
It was hardly a “one-off” situation, and in due course I found such contempt of people seeking employment was the norm rather than the contrary.
I was recently told by someone there is plenty of work for anybody who wants it and she knew of a person in the hospitality trade who was crying out for workers.
After talking to the bloke in question it turns out the opposite was actually true.
So damn those 35,000 people on unemployment benefits who refused to accept offers of employment.
But let’s get rid of the myth that everybody who is not employed is in that situation because they don’t want to work.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.