Providing the skills Australians need to get a job

The Morrison Government is investing in apprenticeships, skills and training to help people get a job as part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to rebuild our economy and to secure Australia’s future.

The 2020-21 Budget also includes a number of other measures designed to assist job seekers gain employment and assist small and family businesses recover from the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The key measures for the employment, skills and small business portfolio include:

JobMaker Hiring Credit

The $4 billion JobMaker Hiring Credit will be payable for up to 12 months for each new job and is available from tomorrow to employers who hire eligible employees aged 16-35.

The Hiring Credit will be paid quarterly in arrears at the rate of $200 per week for those aged between 16-29, and $100 per week for those aged between 30-35. Eligible employees are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

To be eligible, employers will need to demonstrate an increase in overall employee headcount and payroll for each additional new position created.

Treasury estimates that this will support around 450,000 jobs for young people.

Extra Support for Job Seekers

The Morrison Government is funding a range of measures to help job seekers as they search for employment.  These measures include:

  • $49.5 million to fund an additional 14,485 places in the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program to ensure new job seekers who lack basic language, literacy and numeracy skills can access the training and support they need.
  • $24.7 million to streamline the successful ParentsNext program to better support parents – mainly women – to plan and prepare for a return to employment before their youngest child starts school.
  • $3.9 million to extend the Time to Work Employment Service by a further 12 months to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners transition into work upon release.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash says “These Budget initiatives build on funding commitments from 1 September, to implement a new $62.8 million Local Jobs Program to be rolled out in 25 employment regions across Australia".

“Employment Facilitators in each region will work with local businesses, training providers and community representatives to develop pathways that support people back into work or training as quickly as possible,” Minister Cash said.

New Employment Service Model

The Morrison Government is also announcing funding in the 2020-21 Budget to support Australia’s transition to the New Employment Service Model from July 2022.

The new model will allow most jobseekers to manage their job search requirements online, without the need for face-to-face meetings with job service providers, and allow more resources to be directed to providing personal, tailored help to more disadvantaged Australians who need access to vital skills and training to break into the workforce.

Minister Cash says “New technology is driving change in the delivery of employment services and shifting demand away from face-to-face service delivery, recognising that many job-ready job seekers can, and do, self-manage their path back into employment through digital services".

“To help boost training opportunities for job seekers, the Government is also introducing a more flexible approach to counting study and training courses of 12 months or less towards meeting mutual obligation requirements. Eligible courses will be in identified areas of skills needs and will include subsidised training in the Vocational Education and Training system, including courses delivered under the $1 billion JobTrainer Fund as they become available.”

As part of this transition, the Government will commit:

  • $295.9 million over four years to develop and implement the digital system to support the New Employment Service Model.
  • $183.1 million to fast-track and expand the current Online Employment Service to ensure job-ready job seekers can access the information and support they need to secure their own way back into work.
  • $21.9 million will support initiatives to connect more young Australians to youth specialist employment services and targeted assistance. This includes reducing the waiting period for early school leavers who are not in receipt of income support to access the youth specialist Transition to Work service from 1 January 2021.

Supporting new apprenticeships

The Morrison Government is providing funding for 100,000 new apprenticeships in the 2020-21 Budget to support the next generation of our skilled workers and to help job seekers get back into work.

The Government will introduce a new 50 per cent wage subsidy for all businesses that take on new apprentices over the period 5 October 2020 to 30 September 2021. The $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy will support our next generation of skilled workers through 100,000 new apprentices.

“Australian Apprenticeships play a critical role in developing and delivering the pipeline of skilled workers that businesses and industry needs to support our economic recovery,” Minister Cash said.

The subsidy will be capped at $7,000 per quarter for gross wages for new apprentices and trainees. This measure is in addition to financial support already provided under the Government’s $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees package for existing apprentices and trainees, which is now expected to support 90,000 employers to keep 180,000 apprentices and trainees in employment and training.

More Support for Small and Family Business

The Morrison Government is committed to supporting businesses and industries by investing more than $26.2 million to enable small businesses to access the benefits of digital technology and to look after themselves and their businesses as they manage through the stress of the COVID-19 crisis.

The measures to support small and family business include:

  • $19.2 million to encourage and support small businesses to digitise. This will give more small businesses access to expert, independent and tailored advice to help them make the most of the digital economy and take up emerging opportunities in the COVID-19 business environment.
  • $7.0 million to help provide business and mental health support for small business owners who are under increased financial and emotional pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time, businesses with an aggregated annual turnover between $10 million and $50 million will have access to up to 10 small business tax concessions, such as exemptions from FBT on car parking. The changes are estimated to support an additional 20,000 businesses and their employees, and reduce taxes by $105 million over the forward estimates.

More Australians will also get the chance to become their own boss or strengthen their existing small business thanks to an expanded New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) program. 

The changes will allow people in part-time work or study to also get assistance to start their own business. NEIS will also be expanded to help existing micro-business owners who may have been affected by COVID-19 and need assistance to adapt their business and keep it running. NEIS providers can help their participants tap into new markets or transition to new areas of growth.

The measures outlined in Budget 2020-21, along with those already implemented, demonstrate that the Morrison Government is committed to creating jobs for more Australians and helping small and family businesses successfully recover and adapt as part of our economic recovery plan for Australia.

Media contact: Minister Cash's Office 02 6277 7610