Release type: Media Release


Helping the unemployed and employers to build Australia’s future workforce


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

More disadvantaged Australians will receive new support and services to help them get into education and work, from 1 January.

Minister for Employment Bill Shorten today said Australia needs to continue to build an educated and skilled workforce, to ensure there are opportunities for all to experience the benefits of work, and to keep the economy strong by ensuring Australian businesses have access to highly skilled workers.

“The Australian Government believes every Australian should have the opportunity to earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” Mr Shorten said.

"From 1 January the Australian Government will provide new assistance to help disadvantaged job seekers become job-ready. We will also deliver new incentives for employers, to help them benefit from giving disadvantaged Australians a job.”

A new wage subsidy, Wage Connect, will encourage employers to provide sustainable employment opportunities for job seekers who have been receiving income support payments for the last two years. The total of each wage subsidy available to an employer equates to the average rate of Newstart Allowance a job seeker receives for six months.

This $94.6 million Australian Government investment will assist up to 35,000 very long-term unemployed people move into sustainable employment.

From 1 January 2012, Career Advice for Parents will also be available to build the confidence of parent job seekers moving from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance. 

Eligible parents who are registered with an employment services provider will be able to access professional telephone based career advice and resume appraisal services to help them become more competitive in the labour market.

A new measure aimed at helping teenage parents complete their education and ensure their children are ready for school, will also commence in 10 communities.

The Australian Government is investing $47.3 million over four years to help teenage parents in disadvantaged communities work towards attaining a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, while at the same time taking part in activities designed to achieve good early health and education outcomes for their child. 

The ten selected local government areas are:

  • Playford (SA)
  • Hume (Vic)
  • Shepparton (Vic)
  • Burnie (Tas)
  • Bankstown (NSW)
  • Wyong (NSW)
  • Shellharbour (NSW)
  • Rockhampton (Qld)
  • Logan (Qld)
  • Kwinana (WA)

Further opportunities and requirements under the Australian Government’s Building Australia’s Future Workforce program will commence during 2012 to help people move into work through training, education and improved employment services. 

For more information go to: