Overhaul welfare system to help long-term unemployed: Greens
A complete overhaul of the welfare system should be the first step towards tackling long-term unemployment, Tasmanian Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor says.
Ms O’Connor said that would stop people being stigmatised in the first instance.
”The emotional toll long-term unemployment places on people can also be a factor in them staying so,” Ms O’Connor said.
“There are so many stories of humiliating and dehumanising experiences of those searching for jobs with agencies contracted by Centrelink.”
Ms O’Connor was speaking in the wake of state Treasury analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures which showed the number of long-term unemployed Tasmanians had edged up despite the state gaining 9300 jobs in the year to the end of September.
Tasmania averaged 5000 people who had been formally unemployed for a year or more in the 12 months to the end of September.
That was up by 100 compared to the monthly average from the previous year.
Ms O’Connor said long-term unemployment had a limited relationship with overall employment levels, and the longer someone had been out of the workforce, the more challenging it was for them to get back in.
“A major problem, as many studies have shown, is that those who have been unemployed for over six months are routinely discriminated against by potential employers,” she said.
“They can be seen as undesirable because of their long-term unemployment and this is both discriminatory and unfair.
“Given the choice, many employers choose candidates with little to no industry experience over someone who has been long-term unemployed with real, professional experience and a strong wish to work.”
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