Budget 2016: Vulnerable young people offered work pathway

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Federal government targets work readiness of young people and those on welfare.

The federal government says a multi-million dollar program targeting vulnerable young people will see thousands involved in internship programs and receiving on the job training.

The $752 million Youth jobs PaTH – Prepare, Trial, Hire - will begin from 1 April 2017 and will involve young job seekers participating in intensive pre-employment skills training within five months of registering with ‘jobactive’.

The participants will take part in an internship program with up to 120,000 placements over four years. The job seekers will receive $200 per fortnight on top of their regular income support payment while participating in the internship. Businesses who take on interns will receive an upfront payment of $1000.

“[The businesses] will also benefit from the opportunity to see what a young worker can do and how they fit into the team,” federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

In the final stage of the program Australian employers will be eligible for a Youth Bonus wage subsidy of between $6500 and $10,000.

They will have the choice to employ the young person directly or through a traineeship.

“The [program] is an important part of the Turnbull government’s economic plan for jobs and growth,” Mr Morrison said.

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme will receive a boost of $89 million aimed at encouraging young people to start their own businesses.

Changes to work for the dole

Unemployed people struggling to find work will now wait longer to enter the Work for the Dole phase.

From October 1, 2016, job seekers classified as ‘stream A’ will take part in the Work for the Dole phase 12 months after entering jobactive, rather than six.

The budget measure is expected to impact their mutual obligations and requirements under the scheme rather than their own personal finances.

The move is set to save the federal government $494.2 million over four years from 2016-17.

The federal government says it will make the system ‘better targeted and more cost effective’.

“It is worth trying new ways to get young people into real jobs,” Mr Morrison said.

“The cost of not doing so resigns thousands of young Australians to a lifetime of welfare dependency.”

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