Helping young parents become career ready

Young parents in Mandurah and Rockingham will receive one-on-one coaching to address their barriers to employment as part of an innovative trial to tackle welfare dependency.

Young parents are an at-risk group for welfare dependency; 79 per cent of Parenting Payment recipients aged under 19 will still be receiving income support payments in 10 years, and 57 per cent will still be receiving income support in 20 years.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan and Member for Canning Andrew Hastie launched the Career Readiness for Young Parents trial in Mandurah today, as part of the Turnbull Government’s $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund.

In the trial, around 60 young parents will work in groups and with a personal advisor to address their barriers to work and develop their careers.

Mr Tehan said parents could also gain work experience in areas such as childcare and food service.

“The economy created more than 1,000 jobs a day last year, and we want every Australian to take advantage of the opportunities and rewards that employment can provide,” Mr Tehan said.

“This initiative will trial the impacts of tailored support that enables young parents to focus on improving their job readiness and helping their children.

“The Turnbull Government is funding innovative trials to help Australians at-risk of welfare dependency into work.”

Mr Hastie said the Turnbull Government was committed to ensuring that young parents had the assistance they needed, while also providing opportunities for them to develop self-sufficiency.

“You never know the personal circumstances someone is facing, so our Government has ensured that there is a generous safety net in place for those at risk in our community,” Mr Hastie said.

“But we’re also committed to providing resources and opportunities for people to find work and build self-sufficiency. That way, over the medium and long-term, these young parents will be able to get a good job and no longer need government assistance.

“I hope this trial will deliver positive, long-term results for the people who take part. And I hope those results will be replicated across the country so more young parents are able to find meaningful, productive work.”

The Government is providing $1 million to Bridging the Gap to run the trial over 28 months.

Bridging the Gap CEO Alison Palmer said, “Bridging the Gap is really excited and proud to be a part of this Commonwealth initiative which will make such a difference to the lives of young parents in Mandurah and Rockingham.

“The Government’s commitment to funding intensive support will assist young parents with their self-development, health and well-being and career readiness, which will enable them to transition to meaningful social and economic participation.”

Young parents in Mandurah or Rockingham interested in this program should contact Bridging the Gap at bridgingthegap.org.au/what-we-do/.

Tranche 2 of the Try, Test and Learn Fund is open for submissions, with $50 million available for trial initiatives that improve people’s lives and reduce welfare dependency.

More information about the Try, Test and Learn Fund can be found on the Department of Social Services’ website.