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Budget plans new pathways for employment

Suncorp /

It’s been 12 months since the Federal Government announced its $840.3 million Youth Employment Package, designed to increase the number of young people in the workforce.

With Treasurer Scott Morrison preparing to hand down his new Budget today, a major component of last year’s announcement has finally kicked into action with the commencement of the Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare –Trial–Hire) scheme.

A new PaTH into work

The Federal Government has committed $751.7 million over four years towards the program, which came into effect on April 1, 2017.

Targeting job seekers under the age of 25, it aims to provide essential pre-employment skills and help facilitate valuable on-the- job work experience to make young people more attractive to potential employers.

PaTH in practice

The program is made up of three stages: Prepare, Trial and Hire.

Job seekers begin with a six-week training program, focussing on key employability areas such as teamwork, presentation, and basic IT knowledge; as well as advanced job preparation and job hunting skills.

This prepares them for the second stage of the scheme—Trial—during which the Federal Government hopes to work with businesses to offer structured internships for up to 30,000 job seekers each year.

Hire—the final element of the program—is focussed on providing ongoing employment to young workers, with a range of subsidies available for businesses that hire registered job seekers who have been looking for work for more than six weeks.

Benefits for business

The program provides a risk-free opportunity for businesses to assess the suitability of a young worker for ongoing employment.

Internships last from four to 12 weeks, with interns working between 15 and 25 hours each week.

Host employees are paid an upfront fee of $1000, while the workers will be given $200 a fortnight on top of their income support payments for participating.

Additional incentives in the form of an accelerated Youth Bonus wage subsidy are also in place, with businesses that hire eligible young job seekers receiving a payment of between $6,500 and $10,000 during the first six months of their employment.

Designed to break down the barriers for young people trying to move off welfare payments and into the workforce, the Youth Jobs PaTH also delivers a range of benefits to help businesses afford the cost of taking on and training a new employee.

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