Hello, my names Blake Hourigan.
I was going to work for the dole since 6 months before the changes came to July of last year. When the changes came through I had to go for another 6 months or longer (it did seem longer). Although I do believe Work for the dole or other activities to help get jobseeker’s ready for work is a great idea on paper that was not the case in the experience I had during my time.
I was doing work at a self sustaining farm (I want the owners to remain anon they were very nice people) which included building gardens, lawn maintenance, brick laying and a lot of carpentry work. I also had no experience of doing this work when I first started.
The health and safety rules or regulations were almost non existent. It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured. The second day I saw a red belly black snake. When I told the supervisor he did not believe me at the time until later that week when the snake actually came out onto the field. When i told my job network they just said “these things happen at least its gone”.
That’s just one of many examples. Another one was the heat last year: it was 40+ one day at work the dole. I had a job network appointment the next day and I had to re-schedule because of dehydration.
At the next appointment I said “sorry i couldn’t make it it was hot o-“. I was interrupted straight away and was told by my case manager, “oh well i have to drive here from Sydney and then do work from my car”. Must be nice to have the air con, the amount of disrespect and humiliation doesn’t stop.
People are being treated like prisoners at “work”for the dole sites. When i saw that there was a death at one of these sites I wasn’t surprised. At the moment its 12:17am on the 28/04/2016 and I have an appointment with my job provider and I’m so scared to go because I’m going to be told to go to one of these work for the dole sites again. Scared for my life.
If that is the case then i’m absolutely not going to do it again. I would rather live on the streets then to be afraid everyday i go to work for the dole. Anyways that was my experience and thoughts, I don’t want to be anon I do not really care to be honest.
Also i would like to add after finishing the time I had at work for the dole nothing changed it did not do anything I felt no accomplishment and it did not get me job ready. I was job ready long before that i live in Nowra where job employers are looking for juniors with 5 years of experience.