Senator Mark Arbib today announced changes to the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, giving greater opportunities to job seekers in the current economic downturn. Speaking at the opening address at the annual National Employment Services Association (NESA) Practitioners Conference in Melbourne he announced that when the new Job Services Australia arrangements commence on 1 July, job seekers in Streams 1 and 2 will be able to propose a small business that meets any of the following criteria:
- it fills a need in an industry, including the service industry, where there are skills shortages – current and emerging skills in demand;
- is in a business area that services or supplies industries where there are skills shortages – current and emerging skills in demand;
- produces locally, and competes with, or substitutes for, goods imported domestically or exported internationally;
- services gaps in critical supply chains in priority industries; or
- is innovative (i.e. meets or advances the Government’s Productivity Agenda).
He also announced that NEIS providers will have the discretion to decide which businesses satisfy these criteria.
Senator Arbib said, “This is a vote of confidence in the professionalism of our NEIS providers and underscores the new partnership we want to develop with them in the years to come.
We are committed to making the changes needed to provide both structural and practical support to jobseekers, who need it now more than ever,” Senator Arbib said.
In his speech he also outlined the Australian Government’s commitment to continue developing the strong partnership between the Government, NESA and the employment service providers NESA represents.
He set out his commitment to working with employment services to maximise outcomes for job seekers and meet the challenges Australia faces in the current economic environment.
“Last month’s Federal Budget, coupled with the Government’s economic stimulus measures, have armed the Government with powerful tools to support those most affected by the global financial crisis, and provide the building blocks for a brighter future,” he said.