Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Federal Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker visited new contractors for the Jobactive program Hervey Bay Sarina Russo Job Access.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Federal Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker visited new contractors for the Jobactive program Hervey Bay Sarina Russo Job Access. Valerie Horton

MPs discuss how Jobactive can improve employment

THE Fraser Coast's unemployment is in the spotlight with the Federal Government's $5 billion employment service Jobactive to be introduced on July 1 this year.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt toured sites in Hervey Bay on Wednesday to discuss how the service could improve employment in the area.

The first stop on the tour was the newly built We Care 2 building on Main St where workers, who were part of the Work for the Dole program, were tending gardens.

The Work for the Dole program will be a key part of Jobactive, and Mr Hartsuyker said it was an effective way of getting people back into the workforce.

"It's giving people the skills they need to contribute to the community," he said.

The Fraser Coast is one of 18 areas which run the program.

Mr Hartsuyker said Jobactive would improve on the current Work for the Dole program.

"This is phase one and is only available for people up until the age of 30, but after July 1 it will be available to people up to the age of 50," he said.

"Other opportunities will be given to slightly older people such as the Restart Program where $10,000 can be given to employers to employ people over 50."

Myles Neef, 23, is part of the Work for the Dole program in Hervey Bay and said he had more hope of gaining employment.

"I've been doing the program for three months in general gardening, painting, mowing and a few other things," Mr Neef said.

"I've learnt about team building and general work skills that I'll need to find a job, which I'm more motivated to get now," he said.

The second half of the tour was at the Sarina Russo Job Access office in Pialba to discuss Jobactive, and the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, a federally funded project which helps local unemployed people start a small business.



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