The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) has published an Information Sheet on changes being made to the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP), now known as the Community Development Program, due to take effect on 1 July.The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion announced in December 2014 that the RJCP would be reformed to deliver better opportunities for remote job-seekers and would foster stronger economic and social outcomes in remote Australia.
These changes are designed to ensure job-seekers are active and contributing to their communities to make them better places in which to live.
The changes that take effect on 1 July include:
- 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 among job-seekers.
- Community development through activities that make remote areas better places to live and that 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 Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) Wages will wind down early; from 1 July, all job-seekers will be on the same system and will be treated in the same way.
PM&C said the implementation of the reforms to remote employment services would be carefully staged over a 12-month period, from 1 July.