Strengthening employment services for Indigenous Australians

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Information about Closing the Gap measures announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget to strengthen employment services for Indigenous Australians.

Revitalising Employment Services for Indigenous Australians

Mainstream employment services have been successful at placing more than 53,800 Indigenous Australians into work since July 2015. However more needs to be done to close the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

From 1 January 2018, as part of the Closing the Gap – Employment Services package, mainstream employment services are being boosted with a new jobactive service offer to better support Indigenous Australians to find employment.

Through the new jobactive service offer, Indigenous Australians will have access to:

  • culturally appropriate pre-employment training
  • work trials
  • preventative health activities
  • additional support to participate in community based work experience andWork for the Dole projects that allow Indigenous Australians to gain skills while helping their community.

Indigenous Australians will be eligible for a wage subsidy from day one (rather than waiting until they have been in in employment services continuously for the previous six months). Eligible employers will have access to a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to hire Indigenous Australians (increased from $6,500).

Employment services providers will be encouraged to prioritise Indigenous employment by increasing the value of Indigenous employment outcomes in jobactive performance measures.

Who will be eligible?

This measure will benefit all Indigenous Australians looking for work and participating in jobactive (around 76,000 Indigenous Australians).

Implementation – Next Steps

The Department of Employment will implement the changes, including through consultation with relevant stakeholders; and will publicise the changes before 31 December 2017.

Mentoring and more support for Indigenous Youth

Currently 47 per cent of Indigenous Australians are aged under 20. With a growing Indigenous population, it is increasingly important to support Indigenous youth to make successful transitions from school to work or further education and training.

From 1 January 2018, the Government will strengthen support for Indigenous Australians by:

  • providing pre and post-employment mentoring supportto help prepare Indigenous Australians participating in jobactive to find and retain a job; and
  • expanding the Transition to Work service (which is only available for young people aged 15-21 who have not completed high school) to all Indigenous youth aged 21 years or under, including those who have completed high school.

Who will be eligible?

All Indigenous Australians looking for work in jobactive (currently around 76,000) could access mentoring assistance.

All Indigenous Australians who are aged under 22 would be eligible to access the Transition to Work service. On average annually around 4,600 Indigenous Australians aged 15-21 are expected to access the Transition to Work service.

Implementation – Next Steps

The Department of Employment will implement the changes, including through consultation with relevant stakeholders; and will publicise the changes before 31 December 2017.

Other Closing the Gap Budget Measures