How people on the dole help the RSPCA
FROM walking dogs to cleaning out cages, there is always a lot of work to be done at the RSPCA's Wacol campus.
Aside from its staff and tireless volunteers, the charity is being helped by the efforts of Work for the Dole participants.
Volunteer coordinator at the RSPCA's Brisbane site, Seven, said the Work for the Dole programme began in January, 2015.
"It has grown a lot since then," she said.
"It started out with 10-20 people, four days a week and now we get up to 50 participants five days a week.
"They focus on animal care and do things like clean out kennels, interact with the animals, help with laundry, walk the dogs and do odd jobs around the place."
The programme not only benefits the animal welfare charity, but also those who take part.
Lucas Silvestri has been working at the RSPCA for a month and said he had already gained a wide range of skills while taking part in Work for the Dole.
"I've been looking for work for two years and it's really frustrating," he said.
"I have gained so much confidence at the RSPCA and it has given me so many new skills.
"I'm absolutely loving it and I hope to work for the RSPCA or in the animal welfare field in the future."
The Department of Employment-run Work for the Dole programme 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.
Seven said many people who got involved with the program at the RSPCA ended up going on to find work or take part in further training.
"Since we started we have hired about five Work for the Dole participants ourselves and we've had many others go on to get work in the animal industry," she said.
"They do a lot for us. Before, the dogs could only be walked about once a day and now with the extra help, they can go for two long walks a day and do more in-pen activities."
The RSPCA volunteer coordinator said she was always proud to see the vast change in those who took part in the Work for the Dole programme.
"It's been really good to watch the participants' confidence grow while they're here," she said.
"Without the help from the Work for the Dole programme we wouldn't be able to do what we do.
"It's amazing and it helps set people up with a good work ethic."
Additional Work for the Dole participants will also be assigned to the RSPCA's new West Ipswich site from October 5.