Release type: Joint Media Release


Budget 2013-14: $19.2 million to help more Australians find work and regional businesses find apprentices


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Australians looking for work and businesses looking for apprentices in areas doing it tough will benefit from an extra $19.2 million from the Australian Government to better link job seekers with employers.

The Australian Government will invest:

  • $3.5 million to assist job seekers to relocate to take up employment and apprenticeships before 30 June 2014, helping them to access opportunities in growth industries and regions, and
  • $15.7 million to deliver 10 more Jobs and Skills Expos and to continue to support 20 Local Employment Coordinators in Priority Employment Areas until 30 June 2014. These coordinators have been working with businesses to deliver local solutions to local labour market problems.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten and Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis said the Australian Government will continue to invest in ensuring that rural and regional businesses can attract the skilled workers they need to keep their local economies and communities strong.

“In strong economies facing new challenges it’s common that businesses find they are short of workers,” Mr Shorten said. “This is especially the case in rural and regional Australia.

“Added to the challenges of remoteness, our regional businesses also have to adapt to the new competitive environment of the Asian Century. This is further exacerbating skills shortages which businesses in rural and regional Australia have always had to deal with.

“The Australian Government knows how important apprentices are to the future of high-skill industries. And we know how hard it can be for businesses such as farms and mines in rural and remote parts of Australia to attract skilled workers.

“That’s why we are investing $3.5 million in this very practical and targeted measure to help these industries attract more apprentices and workers to those parts of Australia that lie beyond the big cities. The Government will provide up to $6,500 for families and $4,500 for individuals to move.

“This is a win for regional and remote businesses and communities, a win for young Australians looking to develop skills that will help them build a great career, and a win for workers looking to build new futures in new communities built on our great bedrock industries,” Mr Shorten said.

The Government has also announced it will provide an extra $15.7 million to ensure Local Employment Coordinators can continue to work with local employers, employment and training providers, community groups and all levels of government to deliver local outcomes in the 20 Priority Employment Areas across Australia.

Ms Ellis said the funding will also deliver a further 10 Jobs and Skills Expos to be held across Australia during the financial year.

“This Government’s Jobs and Skills Expos have connected more than 26,800 people with employment and training opportunities in less than four years,” Ms Ellis aid.

“The expos coupled with the work of our Local Employment Coordinators are helping local businesses and communities come up with solutions to local problems.

“The investments of the Australian Government are ensuring more Australians can benefit from the financial security and dignity that comes with having a job and helping local businesses find the people with the skills and drive they need to help them succeed into the future.”