Closing the Employment Gap through Work for the Dole? Indigenous Employment and the CDEP Scheme

Closing the Employment Gap through Work for the Dole? Indigenous Employment and the CDEP Scheme Journal Article

Journal of Australian Political Economy

  • Author(s): Jordan, Kirrily
  • Published: 2012
  • Volume: 69

Abstract: The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme has been a unique feature of the Indigenous employment landscape since the late 1970s. Radical for its time, and still almost unique globally, CDEP has sought to combine job creation, income support and community development goals. While there is evidence it has improved outcomes for some Indigenous Australians, in recent years it has been strongly criticised as a barrier to Indigenous participation in the mainstream (non- CDEP) labour market. Especially since the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in 2004, successive Commonwealth governments have progressively wound back the CDEP scheme, culminating in recent changes that may see it transformed from a community managed work program paying the rough equivalent of award wages into a 'work for the dole' program within the social security system. While the implications of these changes are strongly contested, this paper draws on fieldwork on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in remote South Australia to suggest that the unintended consequences may be a greater incidence of welfare passivity and reduced support for remote-living Aboriginal people to find non-CDEP work

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Suggested Citation
Jordan, Kirrily, 2012, Closing the Employment Gap through Work for the Dole? Indigenous Employment and the CDEP Scheme, Volume:69, Journal Article, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4465.

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