Funding options to help job seekers

Wage subsidies

Wage subsidies provide financial incentive of up to $6,500 or $10,000 (GST inclusive) to Australian businesses to hire eligible individuals in an ongoing job. Wage subsidies help to create more employment opportunities for young people, mature age people, parents, long-term unemployed and Indigenous Australians, who might not easily get a job.

Wage subsidies are a key element of the jobactive model and were enhanced under the Closing the Gap–Employment Services measures to improve employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians by through immediate access to wage subsidies rather than having a wait of six months.

These changes are driving more opportunities for Indigenous Australians and improving employment outcomes. Between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2018, there were 5,054 wage subsidy agreements for Indigenous job seekers. This is a 63.2 per cent increase on the number of wage subsidy agreements for Indigenous participants for the same period in 2017.

Due to strong demand, the use of all wage subsidies has increased and continues to grow, assisting more than 56,300 people into work in 2017-18.

Since wage subsidies were first introduced in 2014, they have assisted more than 113,700 individuals into work (to 30 June 2018).

Relocation Assistance to Take Up A Job

Relocation assistance helps with the financial costs of relocating to start a new job and can be combined with other support delivered by an employment services provider. It is available to people who relocate for a job that is at least 90 minutes away from where they live, and that is a full-time, ongoing role of more than 30 hours a week. Relocation assistance provides:

  • up to $6,000 (GST exclusive) for people moving to a regional area, or
  • up to $3,000 (GST exclusive) for people moving to a capital city, with
  • up to an additional $3,000 (GST exclusive) if the person moves with their dependent children.

Over the last financial year, relocation assistance has helped 580 people and their families relocate and to take up an employment opportunity.

Employment Fund

jobactive providers have access to the Employment Fund which helps eligible people build their experience and skills through work-related training and support that helps them find and keep a job. The department continues to increase the flexibility and choices available through the Employment Fund and remove unnecessary restrictions.

jobactive providers spent $231.3 million in 2017–18 to help individuals prepare for work, with expenditure mainly on accredited training, professional services, clothing and presentation, and work-related licensing. The amount spent by jobactive providers increased by 52 percentage points compared to the $136.7 million spent in 2016–17.

Providers also used the Employment Fund to provide targeted support for Indigenous Australians as part of the Closing the Gap–Employment Services measures which commenced on 1 January 2018.