Under 50s will be forced to work for the dole

THE government has defended its radical overhaul of the work-for-the-dole program, calling it an urgently needed reform that taxpayers expect.

The new job placement program, to begin on July 1, 2015, will force job seekers to look for 40 jobs a month and perform up to 25 hours of community service. Details of the three-year, $5.1 billion job placement program were released on Monday.

Under the Abbott government's expanded work for the dole plans, unemployed people aged up to 49 will have to perform some work for jobless payments.

Job seekers younger than 30 would have to work 25 hours a week under the expanded program, while those between 30 and 49 will be asked to do 15 hours' work a week.

Those aged 50-60 will undertake 15 hours a week of an approved activity, such as training.

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