The 2016-17 Budget contains new employment measures to help more Australians, especially young job seekers, to get into work and move off welfare.
To help achieve this, the Government has announced a Youth Employment Package that aims to give young job seekers the employability skills and real work experience they need to get a job.
The measures in the package will boost young people's job prospects by helping them be better prepared for the workplace and encouraging more businesses to hire them.
The main features of the Youth Employment Package include:
Youth Jobs PaTH
Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) aims to maximise the chance of young job seekers under 25 getting a job. The pathway has three elements:
- Prepare—Employability Skills Training to help young job seekers better understand what employers expect of them in the workplace, and equip them with the skills, attitude and behaviours for them to be successful in a job. Starting from 1 April 2017, job seekers registered with jobactive aged under 25 years will receive employability skills training which is industry endorsed and evidence-based to ensure young job seekers can be competitive in the labour market. The training will commence within five months of the job seeker being in employment services (unless extenuating circumstances exist).
- Trial—a voluntary "internship" placement of between 4 and 12 weeks to give young job seekers a chance to show what they can do in a real workplace. From 1 April 2017, young job seekers under the age of 25 years who are registered with jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services and have been in employment services for at least six months will be eligible. The internships provide incentives of $1,000 upfront to a business to host an intern and a $200 fortnightly payment to job seekers on top of their income support.
- Hire—a Youth Bonus wage subsidy to support the employment of young people. From 1 January 2017, employers will receive a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 for job seekers under 25 years old with barriers to employment and will continue to receive up to $6,500 for the most job-ready job seekers. There will also be improvements to the design of wage subsidies, which will be payable over six months and give employers more flexibility in hiring young people.
Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment
The Youth Employment Package includes measures to encourage young Australians to start a business and create their own job.
From December 2016, pathways for young people to pursue entrepreneurship will be enhanced by:
- Establishment of a two-week 'Exploring Being My Own Boss' workshops for up to 1000 young people per year to give them a taste of what is involved in self-employment and entrepreneurship. This will include internship opportunities of up to 12 weeks for workshop participants to gain first-hand experience in what it takes to run a small business.
- An additional 2300 New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) places per year and broadening of NEIS eligibility to provide access to the training and mentoring elements of the NEIS program to job seekers not on income support.
- Entrepreneurship Facilitators will be appointed in three regions with high youth unemployment to promote entrepreneurship and join up local services and programs (such as jobactive, NEIS, microfinance services and start-up incubators).
- Entrepreneurship Starter Packs will be made available online and in hard copy to let young people know about the entrepreneurship support services and programs available in their area, how these fit together and how they can access them.
Changes to the Work for the Dole phase
From 1 October 2016, the most job ready (Stream A) job seekers will move into the Work for the Dole phase after 12 months, instead of six months as per current arrangements. This will mean all job seekers will enter the Work for the Dole phase at 12 months.
The new Work for the Dole arrangements will provide more time for providers to deliver more targeted services, strengthen job seeker activation and improve their ability to deliver more individualised and tailored services to meet the needs of job seekers.
Cessation of Job Commitment Bonus
The Job Commitment Bonus will end on 31 December 2016, subject to the repeal of enabling legislation. Individuals who are qualified to claim the bonus at the time of repeal will be ‘grandfathered’ and will still be able to lodge a claim.
There are also a number of measures relevant to the broader portfolio. There is a small amount of additional funding for the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency in support of coordinating, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness.
Comcare’s Asbestos and NBN Rollout Verification Programme will be extended and strengthened to keep step with the progressive rollout of the National Broadband Network. Comcare’s costs will be fully recovered from entities engaged in the NBN roll-out, such as NBN Co and Telstra.
In follow up to the Government’s earlier announcement to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration System, the budget papers reflect a redistribution of funding for the System. The System had two parts – the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, which was funded through the Fair Work Commission, and a compliance and education function through the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Commission and the Ombudsman collectively received around $4 million a year, this funding will now flow to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to be used in road safety initiatives.
From 1 January 2017, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Community Engagement Grants Program will provide employment advice services. This will replace the current Community-Based Employment Advice Services program.
For further details including Portfolio Budget Statements and agency outcomes, visit our 2016-17 Budget page.