Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his plans to force job seekers to apply for 40 jobs each per month to access the dole.
Despite warnings the scheme will be a “red tape nightmare” for small business Abbott told Justin Smith on Radio 2UE yesterday small businesses should want job seekers knocking at their doors.
“We want to ensure that people on unemployment benefits really are serious in looking for work, but we don’t want to unnecessarily burden small business,” Abbott said.
“On the other hand, given that so many people in small business say that it is hard to get staff, maybe it’s not a bad thing if sometimes someone comes in and knocks on the door and says ‘well if you’re looking for work, if you’re looking for staff, if you’re looking for a worker, I’m available’.”
SmartCompany readers were largely critical of the proposed scheme yesterday.
Ana commented: “Are they also going to pay businesses to hire an extra person to field all the calls from Centrelink? We are an SME and we already get [approximately] 20 unsolicited CVs a week. I can see that number explode if this policy comes into effect.”
Pete commented: “I’m a business owner and I can tell you this is absolutely futile. I already get people canvassing me daily even though I’m full up. The jobs have to be there and they’re not.”
But a spokesperson for Bruce Billson, the Minister for Small Business, told SmartCompany the government has only released the proposal in an exposure draft form for consultation.
This means stakeholders will have an opportunity to put forward their thoughts as part of this process.
“This is what a consultative and collegial government does: it puts reforms like this out for consultation and says to those interested what do you think?”, the spokesperson says.
“As the Prime Minister has said what we’ve put out reflects our values and our aspirations and what we want, that is job seekers who are active, not passive.”