1 August 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here.

Providers in the welfare-to-work system are making lucrative earnings by enrolling clients into their own taxpayer-funded programs

The course had to be seen to be believed. A thumbs up, the image told her, “indicates approval”. Thumbs down? “Disapproval.” Frequent blinking? “Excitement.” A person sitting with a leg over their knee? “Stubbornness,” apparently.

*Sarah, a single mother dealing with a chronic health condition, was directed to complete a series of courses by her job agency after she deferred a university degree.

She needed to complete five online modules every 13 weeks to meet her “mutual obligations” – the tasks required of welfare recipients to maintain their benefit payments that are meant to show they are looking for work or acquiring skills that will make them more employable. One module was called Making Decisions.

It almost felt insulting being told to do these … when I was midway through a bachelor’s degree… I already struggle to find time to do critical things in my life. It was a massive waste of time.

– Sarah, a single mum forced into bullshit courses

Employment services survey

The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.

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