From today, tens of thousands of parents across Australia will benefit from a national rollout of the Turnbull Government’s ParentsNext Program designed to plan and prepare for future study or employment.
The program, trialled successfully in 10 locations across Australia since April 2016, has already helped over 23,000 parents find employment.
In the 2017–18 Budget the Turnbull Government announced it would expand the successful ParentsNext initiative nationally, to help around 68,000 parents every year who have young children and are at risk of long-term welfare dependency.
ParentsNext helps eligible parents to prepare for employment by the time their children go to school. Providers work with parents to help them set education and employment goals, and link them to support services in the local community so they can achieve those goals.
The program connects parents to a range of services including education, mentoring, health, housing, parents’ groups, affordable childcare, domestic violence support and work experience.
With approximately 96 per cent of participants expected to be women, including 10,000 Indigenous women, the program will complement other Government initiatives to increase female participation in the workforce and meet the employment Closing the Gap target for Indigenous Australians.
Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the expanded program starting today, would give even more parents a chance to get the skills and help they need to get back into the workforce.
“The Government knows that the best form of welfare is a job. That’s why we’re investing $351 million to break the cycle of welfare dependency and give parents the tools to achieve their goals,” Minister Cash said.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter MP, said the national rollout demonstrates the Turnbull Government is making a difference in the lives of Australian families, at a time when they need it most.
“ParentsNext is about helping parents plan and prepare for future study or employment, and create great role models for future generations,” Minister Porter said.