The Turnbull Government is taking action to safeguard Australian jobs and ensure Australians have the necessary training and skills to be job ready.
Under this Government, more Australians are now in full-time work than ever before. Since coming to office in September 2013, employment has increased by almost 600,000. A record high of over 12 million Australians are now in employment.
The Government remains acutely aware that there are more than 750,000 Australians who remain unemployed.
This is why the Government is announcing measures in the Budget to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. These measures will focus on helping more Indigenous Australians, disadvantaged parents of young children, and older Australians into jobs.
This Budget makes the right choices to secure the better times ahead for all Australians.
For parents of young children
From 1 July 2018, the Australian Government will invest $263 million over four years to expand the ParentsNext pre-employment program. This expansion will help more parents of young children, who may be at risk of long term welfare dependency, to plan and prepare for employment by the time their children are at school.
The program will be expanded under two streams to all areas covered by jobactive employment services. Under the first stream, the program will be expanded to an additional 20 locations with a significant Indigenous population. Under a second stream, a more targeted ParentsNext program will be available in all remaining jobactive regions across Australia. ParentsNext is already operating in 10 designated Local Government Areas, and is helping parents gain skills and build networks that will help them get a job when their child is old enough to go to school.
A new $55.7 million Indigenous Employment package (over five years, commencing from 2016-17) will create better opportunities for Indigenous Australians to find work, by offering mentoring and more support for Indigenous youth; and assisting people leaving prison to quickly find work and avoid recidivism.
Many older Australians on income support are willing to work but miss out on jobs because they lack the contemporary skills and work experience employers need. In recognition of this enormous untapped potential, the Government will support those aged 50 years and over through training, work experience opportunities and better links to employers.
A new Career Transition Assistance Program will deliver a short, intensive course for mature age people looking for work to prepare for new career paths and opportunities. The Government will also expand the National Work Experience Programme, which will offer older Australians more opportunities to upskill.
Better targeting and strengthened integrity in the welfare system
The Government is committed to ensuring that all Australians with the capacity to work do so, and is introducing a new targeted job seeker compliance framework, to apply stronger penalties to persistently non-compliant individuals, whilst ensuring that those who are genuinely disadvantaged and vulnerable are supported.
A new system of escalating financial penalties for the minority of those who persistently fail to meet their participation requirements will improve the integrity of the system and ensure people do the right thing. This will ensure community expectations are met and those accepting financial support from the community are held accountable to the taxpayer.
The Turnbull Government firmly believes the best form of welfare is a job. Workforce participation is central to improving the long term wellbeing of Australians.