Work for the Dole


Work for the Dole places job seekers in activities where they can gain skills and experience that give back to the community and can help them find a job.

Eligible job seekers registered with a jobactive provider will need to participate in Work for the Dole or another approved activity for six months each year to keep receiving their income support if they have mutual obligation requirements.

Work for the Dole activities can be hosted by not-for-profit organisations and government agencies. The program gives organisations an extra set of hands to help to undertake activities that would not normally be done. jobactive providers work with host organisations to identify suitable activities.

More information on being a Work for the Dole host organisation is available.

Work for the Dole can help job seekers:

  • develop the skills that employers want
  • show they are ready to start work
  • meet new people and make contacts who can be a referee
  • get involved in their local community.

More information for job seekers about Work for the Dole is available.

Want to know more?

Read the Program Fact Sheet about Work for the Dole.

Please Note: on 1 January 2018 changes to Work for the Dole announced under the 2017-18 Budget came into effect.

To help streamline Work for the Dole administration, Work for the Dole Coordinator contracts ceased and jobactive providers now source all Work for the Dole places.

Work for the Dole Group Based Activities have been refocused to primarily target places to the most disadvantaged people, that is, those who face a range of vocational and non-vocational barriers.

Providers are encouraged to establish Indigenous specific Work for the Dole Activities, which support community goals and help support achievable and meaningful career pathways for Indigenous job seekers.

The Indigenous Specific Work for the Dole Activities fact sheet provides more information on the changes to the Work for the Dole program.


The following is a list of all the news items that are associated with Work for the Dole.

Bradley finds new work direction at Aitkenvale

News | 18 April 2018

Thanks to a Work for the Dole initiative, Bradley McAlister has developed employability skills and discovered newfound enjoyment working outdoors.

Gerard revitalises pride in local community

News | 18 April 2018

Pride has been restored to the regional community of Gerard in South Australia thanks to a Work for the Dole initiative.

Jake’s enthusiasm in Work for the Dole lands him a job!

News | 12 April 2016

Through Work for the Dole, the RSPCA in Darwin has been providing local job seekers with an array of opportunities to improve their employability skills and confidence.

Restoration of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

News | 5 April 2016

Job seekers on the Gold Coast are participating in a positive and worthwhile Work for the Dole activity at the National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a Gold Coast tourist attraction dedicated to the conservation of native flora and protection of native Australian wildlife.

‘Care and Share’ programme - a community in action

News | 29 March 2016

Job seekers participating in the Australian Government’s Work for the Dole programme have helped to support mature age members of their local community through the Care and Share programme at the Trinity Baptist Church Centre in South Australia. 

Connecting with the Community at PepperTree Place

News | 22 March 2016

PepperTree Place community garden and nursery in Coburg has a vision to become a community hub that nurtures the wellbeing of people and their environment. It was established so the local community could learn essential gardening, cooking and dietary skills and provide connections for community...

Contemporary aboriginal art project a success for Toowoomba jobseekers

News | 25 February 2016

A goldmine of opportunity for jobseekers

News | 9 February 2016

The restoration of historic steam train locomotives has boosted tourist numbers to the old goldfields of Victoria and given job seekers new skills that will help them find jobs.

Empowering the community - Melton Specialist School upgrade

News | 1 February 2016

The school children at Melton Specialist School in West Melbourne have a beautiful new school environment thanks to a group of participants in the Australian Government’s Work for the Dole programme and the support of their local community.

Maddingley Park restoration benefits job seekers and the local community

News | 4 January 2016

In Bacchus Marsh, West of Melbourne, the local community is benefiting from the hard work of participants in the Australian Government’s Work for the Dole programme who are upgrading the Maddingley Park clubhouse and grounds and restoring the popular adventure playground to its former glory.

Old home hosts new opportunities for job seekers and people with disability

News | 7 December 2015

Independent report finds Work for the Dole effective

News | 15 November 2015

Work for the Dole evaluation report released

Mt Rothwell Conservation

News | 2 November 2015

The future is a lot brighter for Australia’s native animals and plants thanks to the Mt Rothwell and its dedicated participants in the Australian Government’s Work for the Dole programme.

A proud moment for Work for the Dole virtual volunteering project

News | 20 July 2015

A group of young Western Australian job seekers has been recognised for their contribution to a successful “virtual volunteering” Work for the Dole project jointly hosted by atWork Australia and the Carnamah Historical Society & Museum in WA.