Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Gov't announces new spam for the dole scheme


“Tough new rules”? Err, not really – but maybe the sub-editor’s failure here shows how widely the corrosive penumbra of unemployment really extends.

On the surface, the changes are just another rejig of the ring of useless mendicants otherwise known as the Job Network. It is already a requirement for Newstart recipients to register with at least one Job Network member co. By the addition of a 45-minute (count ‘em) interview, the current registration process – fill in JN co’s form and hand over one’s CV, and never hear from them again – will become slightly less desultory. The extra compliance stick here, however, will hit the Job Network provider at least as hard as it hits the Newstart recipient. As the above article suggests, the JN ring – or at least those who survive the rejig – will presumably be well-compensated for this intrusion into the current blankness of their job-matching daily schedule.

For the Newstart recipient, the real sting in the announced changes remains to be revealed. The basically cost-free nature of all-electronic job-matching (email, SMS message, or seeking out a terminal at a JN member office) provides a reasonable clue as to how this may go – Newstart recipients may be electronically bombarded with job “offers”, headhunted, no less.

In reality of course, this kind of headhunting will lack the targeting precision and subtlety of approach that headhunting usually connotes. Most e-matches, then, will presumably be of the unilateral, shotgun wedding variety: “Do exactly what the spam says, Dolebludger, or we’ll cut you off”.

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