Reforming remote employment services to CDP

Indigenous AffairsEmploymentCommunity Development Programme (CDP)
Monday, June 6, 2016
Publication author(s):
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

On 1 July 2015, the reforms to the remote employment services announced on 6 December 2014 by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs came into effect. The programme name changed from Remote Jobs and Community Programme (RJCP) to Community Development Programme (CDP).

The Government reformed remote employment services to deliver better opportunities for remote job seekers and foster stronger economic and social outcomes in remote Australia.

The reforms better reflect the aspirations of people in remote Australia. The reforms will lead to practical outcomes and help community members to help themselves.

Flexible and focussed on local decision making and local solutions, the CDP is an essential part of the Australian Government’s agenda for increasing employment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency in remote areas of Australia.

Implementation of the reforms is being carefully staged over a 12-month period in consultation with remote communities and providers.

On 1 July 2015, the reforms to the remote employment services announced on 6 December 2014 by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs came into effect. The programme name changed from Remote Jobs and Community Programme (RJCP) to Community Development Programme (CDP).

The Government reformed remote employment services to deliver better opportunities for remote job seekers and foster stronger economic and social outcomes in remote Australia.

The reforms better reflect the aspirations of people in remote Australia. The reforms will lead to practical outcomes and help community members to help themselves.

Flexible and focussed on local decision making and local solutions, the CDP is an essential part of the Australian Government’s agenda for increasing employment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency in remote areas of Australia.

Implementation of the reforms is being carefully staged over a 12-month period in consultation with remote communities and providers.

Under the CDP:

  • A requirement for all adults between 18 and 49 years who are not in work or study to undertake work-like activities for up to 25 hours per week, depending on their assessed capacity to work.
  • Training for job seekers that is linked to a real job or their participation activities. No training for training’s sake.
  • A simple Job Plan with measures to support better attendance amongst job seekers.
  • Community development through activities that make remote areas better places to live and run over five days to support school attendance.
  • Stronger incentives for employers and providers to support job seekers from the bush into lasting employment.
  • Funding for new enterprises that provide jobs and work experience opportunities in remote communities.
  • Reduced red tape and simplified processes for providers to allow them to focus on assisting job seekers.
  • Grandfathered CDEP Wages ceased. From 1 July 2015 all job seekers moved to the same system and are treated in the same way.

What do the changes mean for communities?

Consultation and engagement with Indigenous leaders, remote communities, remote employment service providers and other organisations in remote Australia is continuing. This ensures that people are engaged in meaningful projects and activities communities want.

As a result, more people are active and contributing to community life – working on country, caring for elderly parents, working in the school canteen, attending their kids’ preschool.

Families and communities are working together to make sure that children go to school and learn. Activities will run five days a week to support school attendance. Communities will see new businesses and new jobs for local people.

What do the changes mean for job seekers?

More job seekers are engaged in activities that are work-like, purposeful and meaningful. They are developing the skills and experience that will make them work ready. At the same time, they are contributing to their community – making it a better place to live.

Activities are being tailored to the needs and circumstances of the job seeker.

Job seekers are able to get on-the-job experience in real workplaces. They will be doing training that helps prepare them for work - for example, language, literacy and numeracy training or obtaining a driver’s licence.

Job seekers are able to continue receiving support to address health issues, or drug or alcohol problems.

Job seekers are still able to take reasonable ‘time off’ where a person has caring or cultural responsibilities and during normal shut-down periods for example over Christmas.

What do the changes mean for employers?

There are strong incentives to get people into paid work – to encourage employers to look to the bush for employees.

Businesses can also provide work-like experience for jobseekers by hosting activities, giving them an opportunity to get to know the job seeker before offering them employment.

Providers deliver a range of support that can include mentoring, training and other support to ensure that job seekers are well supported while placed with a local employer.

To find out more about the Community Development Programme (CDP)

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