Government expands plan to help teen parents back to work

18 May 2017By JAMES ELTON-PYM

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visiting a school in Brisbane (AAP)

SBS World News Radio: The Turnbull Government has unveiled a change to the welfare system designed to get teenaged parents back to work.

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The government says welfare for teen parents needs to be designed to get them back to work.

A new $260 million funding boost will see young parents get access to training programs so they are ready for a job by the time their children start school.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the benefits will flow through the generations.

"It's good for them, it's good for their future, and it's great for their kids too, because they can see that mum and dad are engaged with the workforce, they can see that they can be a real model for them."

The ParentsNext program is already running in ten locations.

Now, the government will expand it to 20 more, to reach another 68,000 parents every year.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says they've chosen the most disadvantaged areas.

"We're targeting them into the locations where they need the help. We're also targeting them into locations where there also happens to be a high Indigenous population, because we know that's a real issue in Indigenous communities."

More than one in ten of the parents reached by the expanded program is expected to be Indigenous.

And at the same time, the Indigenous wage subsidy for jobseekers will increase to $10,000.

Employers will also get extra payments for hiring young parents.

The Treasurer says the program will be a big help, especially for those who weren't planning to have children.

"Where young people find themselves having kids early, though, they can get themselves into a bit of stress and a bit of hardship, and sometimes these things aren't planned - I mean, that's the nature of life."

Labor has not yet expressed its opinion of the change.

 

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