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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Helping job seekers into work

Reducing the costs for small businesses to employ job seekers

The Government is helping Australian small businesses to create more work experience opportunities for Australia’s unemployed, particularly young people and older workers.

Wage subsidies to support employment

Employers who then offer job seekers an ongoing job can receive a wage subsidy with flexible payment arrangements.

The Government will introduce greater flexibility to wage subsidy arrangements to help with upfront costs of hiring and training staff.

There will be a $1.2 billion national wage subsidy pool. Employers will be able to access wage subsidies from the time the person starts the job.

Changes to Restart will also make it easier for small businesses to receive Government support when they employ older workers.

A new wage subsidy will be available for employers to take on parents who want to return to the workforce.

Work experience for young job seekers

The Government will provide $18 million over four years for around 6,000 job seekers annually to undertake valuable work experience for up to four weeks while they continue to receive income support.

Connecting job seekers with small business employers

Image of three jigsaw pieces. The first piece says: Job Seekers; the second: Government Services; the third: Small Business

Employing young job seekers

Nick runs a delicatessen in Perth.

His business is growing and Nick wants to hire a young person to help with serving customers, cleaning and setting up displays.

Nick is concerned that a young job seeker would take too long to train, which would be costly.

A jobactive organisation introduced him to Scott who is a young person wanting a chance to work.

Nick gave Scott the opportunity to do work experience for four weeks in the delicatessen.

Scott continued to get his income support payment while developing his skills and learning about the business from Nick.

At the end of the four weeks, Nick decided to hire Scott and was able to receive a total of $6,500 in wage subsidy payments over 12 months.

Giving job seekers opportunities through work experience

National Work Experience

From October 2015, jobactive and Disability Employment Services organisations can place young job seekers into work experience.

Job seekers like Scott who are over 18 are able to:

  • volunteer for work experience placements of up to 25 hours per week
  • continue to receive their income support payment
  • also receive a supplement of $20.80 per fortnight, to assist with the costs of participating.

Wage Subsidies

From November 2015, wage subsidy payments will be simplified and made more flexible.

  • The amount and timing of payments will be negotiated between jobactive providers and employers
  • For young people like Scott, they can negotiate a wage subsidy up to $6,500 over a 12 month period.

Employers like Nick will have a greater incentive to offer job opportunities to young job seekers. Wage subsidies make it easier for employers to build a job seekers’ skills and help them develop in a paid job.

Reinvigorating Restart

Mature age job seeker

David is a 53 year old job seeker.

David does not want to retire and has been actively looking for work since he lost his last job.

As a mature age job seeker David thought potential employers would value his previous work experience, but he has had difficulties finding a new job.

David has now been on income support for seven months.

David’s jobactive organisation helped him get an interview with an employer who was interested in hiring mature age workers.

The jobactive organisation offered the employer access to the Restart Wage Subsidy if they made a commitment to employing David.

This subsidy helps David return to the workforce and get the ongoing employment he wants to continue to support his family.

By the time David has been with the company for over 12 months his employer will have received wage subsidy payments of up to $10,000.

A flexible wage subsidy will help mature age job seekers into employment

Restart eligibility

Restart is available for job seekers who are 50 years of age or older, and who have been unemployed and on income support for six months or more.

Restart payment schedule

Under the new changes to the Restart programme, employers can access wage subsidy payments sooner. There is now greater flexibility for jobactive organisations and employers to negotiate a schedule for Restart payments of up to $10,000 over a 12 month period. This has been reduced from 24 months.

For example:

  • $2,000 by 3 months employment;
  • $2,000 by 6 months employment;
  • $1,000 by 9 months employment;
  • $1,500 by 12 months employment; and
  • $3,500 Restart bonus after 12 months employment.