Work for the Dole program kicks off today

YOUNG Australians living in regional Queensland and northern New South Wales from today will be forced on to the Abbott government's Work for the Dole program.

The program will roll out in 18 regional areas including Bundaberg, the Fraser and Logan in Queensland, and Richmond, Tweed, Ballina, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and the Clarence Valley in NSW.

Across the nation, some 40,000 young unemployed Australians who have claimed the Newstart or Youth Allowance on to the program, up to 15 hours a week.

Jobs could include working in non-profits on retail counters, for schools on landscaping and rubbish collection and restoring and maintaining town halls and similar public areas.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, meeting with his Cabinet in Canberra on Tuesday, said the program created "more opportunities to secure employment" for long-term unemployed people.

Those affected immediately will be young people aged 18 to 30 years old, who have been claiming the payment without working for 12 months or more.

The program will be rolled out nation-wide next year, while several other work programs and grants took effect on Tuesday.

Among them, the government's relocation assistance will give some jobseekers up to $6000 if they move to regional areas to work, or $3000 for those taking the reverse trip to metropolitan areas.

Businesses looking to employ older Australians can now also access up to $10,000 to employ workers aged 50 years or older, who have been on income support for the past six months.