Community Development Program (CDP) in Australia
Australian workforce scattered unequally among cities, especially between urban and remote-areas. This is because of not merely demographic differences, but job opportunities and education level of people which have different characteristics between these places. Therefore, it is reasonable if the Australian government has several policies for one particular obstacle. One of these policies is Community Development Program (CDP) which has an objective to support unemployment to have a job through welfare in remote cities (Department PM&C, 2018, p.6). This brief will discuss shortly the CDP policy as well as the issue in remote areas and the possibility of recommending the improvement in order to have more effective solutions unemployment issue in remote areas.
CDP is programmed as ‘job assistance’ in Australia`s remote mostly through Work for Dole since 2015 (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018, p. 1). This program helps job-seeker to improve their skills and make them readier to work and participate in beneficial activities in local organisation or communities (Department of PM&C, 2018b, pp. 1–2). CDP designed employers to provide a job that closes to a real job environment with five hours working on weekdays for six months. As reciprocity, employers will receive an incentive from the government up subsidy the cost on employ CDP participant.
Although this program correctly matches in remotes area workforce problem because workforce in remote areas is different than urban areas which are commonly implemented mostly by Jobactive program, CDP probably has still three main obstacles during the implementation. First, the wage of CDP participant tends to less than similar projects. Second, the penalty scheme considered unbeneficial for those who are participating CDP. Three, the number of job placement did not reflect the effective of the program.
In short, it is clear that CDP is recommended to be transformed into more effective policy-model. The policy should be beneficial for employees and employers in terms of accommodating their respective interests. The government should change their penalty system to less-strict yet fairer and the improvement of wage to minimum wage nationally. In the next following chapter, this brief will discuss this obstacle deeply, particularly in among stakeholders: government, employers, and CDP participants.
CDP is covering approximately 33,000-35,000 participants who are distinguished by Work for Dole and Basic Services-only. More than half of CDP job-seeker participated in Work for Dole system which must work 15 hours per weeks in weekdays and entirely 26 weeks. During implementation this policy for almost four years, CPD statistically success to help 15,000 job seekers to have jobs and 85% of participants receive ‘work-like’ exercise (Scullion, 2017; Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018, pp. 6–14)
A common perspective is CDP is designed to be correctly matched with particular attributes that the majority of remote area people have. The majority people of 60 remote-regions are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who fewer finished high school educations (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018, p. 10; Department of PM&C, 2018b, p. 1). This implies that human resources in Australian`s are more likely as less-skilled workers and may impact to work opportunity and establishment of the workforce. Furthermore, the unemployment rate of remotes area higher than urban places at 17-51% and CDP participations are about 11-18% of the population (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018). This evidence widely provides a situation that lack of knowledge become an essential issue in remote areas and distinguish with the others place in Australia. Therefore, in another perspective, it is true that Jobactive program does not match in remote`s characteristics, CDP is a form to solve unemployment issue in this particular issue.
However, Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff (2018) doubt that this program support job seeker comprehensively. There are at least two main problems that government should be considered. Firstly, CDP participants tend to receive less-income than similar programs like Jobactive; for instance, on average, Jobactive participants receive wage $ 18.67 per house, while CDP participants just earn $11.20. To view both numbers widely, the current national minimum wage is $ 18.29 per hours which indicates that CDP participants receive pay 39% below minimum wage.
There are three primary stakeholders who involved in this problem, Government, in this case, is Department of PM&C who release the policy, employer and CDP participants. The party that losses the most is CDP participants who receive less-income that may affect to their well-being; however, employers that commonly from various business scales are more likely do not have the ability to increase their wage. It could be that the participation of employers is only to receive incentive up to $7,500 after full time employed for 26 weeks (Department of PM&C, 2015, p. 1). Therefore, the primary key is a government that able to solve in two perspectives. First is the government should to set higher minimum wage of participants of CDP. The second is to present more subsidy to employers in order to help their cost on employ participants.
Secondly, the penalties scheme of CDP brings disadvantages for participants which results in the loss of approximately 10% of their two weeks income due to ‘No Show No Pay’ fine (Campbell, Browne and Grudnoff, 2018). To see how much the penalties of CDP participant, they compare CDP penalties to Jobactive Program. In details, in June 2017, CDP participants received 52,813, while Jobactive was only 44,593. It shows the number of sentences for CDP is higher than Jobactive participants even though the number of Jobactive participants is higher than CDP. Moreover, the sentences tend to be greater and impose unequally to participants due to waiver. This case shows that CDP participants as a party that received the most drawbacks. Governments should reduce punishment by considering cultural and traditional society backgrounds. It may need further research to have more effective policy model to solve this problem.
Thirdly, although approximately 15,000 participants have a job, the job placements in detail still need to be improved. For instance, only one in ten CDP participants are deployed in a job which they remain for six months or more every year. It indicates that statistically the successful participants who placed into jobs narrowly explain as the quantitative not proportional number to participants. It just how the indicator that the government`s goal does not reflect the effectiveness of programs. The gap programs may be caused that skill of participants through on the job training did not significantly improved. One more straightforward solution is government spends more budget on vocational training due to the less-education level of job-seeker in remote areas.
It is clear that CDP helps many job seekers in remote areas to had a job yet have several problems during the implementation. In short, both advantages and disadvantages bring this brief to provide recommendations to stakeholders in the next following chapter.