Budget 2014: Why the young, the old and the bureaucratic will be lining up for jobs

by Janie Smith14 May 2014
If you’re looking to hire, the Federal Budget may give you a helping hand – but it’s looking to be an unusual mix of jobseekers flooding the market.

The young unemployed, older workers and public servants have all come out on the losing end of the budget and will need to find jobs when measures come into effect.

However, the government is offering subsidies to encourage employers to hire both young and older workers.

In an effort to get young people into employment, under-30s who are either school-leavers or new jobseekers will face a six-month wait for the dole.

After that waiting period, the government will provide six months’ worth of income support, but the unemployed person will have to participate in Work for the Dole, where they will work for up to 25 hours a week.

The benefit for employers comes in the form of wage subsidies, which the government will offer as an incentive to hire those young jobseekers who are still unemployed after a year.

These jobseekers will  be unlikely to turn down job offers – if they refuse work “without any good reason”, according to budget papers, they will lose their payment for eight weeks, unless they can prove financial hardship or waive the penalty by doing extra activities.

Chris McDonald, country manager for job search site Indeed, said the Government’s focus on getting under-30s into work will have positive implications for the Australian economy, if it works.

“The Treasurer’s ‘young people must be earning or learning’ call-to-action must be supported by the careers advice that is delivered in schools.

“Providing the appropriate direction to school leavers will help the next generation decide what career is right for them, not mistaking the first available job for the right job,” said McDonald.

If you want to snap up workers with bureaucratic experience, this is your chance.

In the public sector, there will be 16,500 job losses over four years, including 2,000 as a result of changes in the budget and 76 government agencies will be abolished, merged, privatised or consolidated.

And as expected, the pension age will be raised to 70 for people born after 1966, with changes to eligibility – the amount solo pensioners can earn per year from their assets will drop from $46,600 to $30,000, while for couples, it will drop from $77,400 to $50,000.

Employers who hire an eligible mature-age worker will be paid a government subsidy of $10,000 across two years.

It seems that older workers are already proving popular in one sector – Airtasker, a website where people outsource odd jobs around the house and office, has reported that mature-age workers are being snapped up because of their skills and experience.


  • by John Watters 14/05/2014 11:47:50 AM

    It should be noted that the number of Career Advisers in schools has started to drop since the beginning of 2014. The remaining advisers have had their workloads adjusted to reduce the amount of time working on career issues. The Budget has also discontinued all funding to NFPs, such as Partnership Brokers and Youth Connections, to work with young people to make their transition from school to further education, training and employment easier.
    Hence, there will be fewer advisers and NO external assistance which assisted advisers.

  • by Michelle 14/05/2014 1:20:25 PM

    A friend of mine is 74 and works FULL-TIME in a law firm. I've known her since we worked together in 1989-1990 when she was in her 50's and I was in my 20's. She was then and still is now an asset and a valued and respected employee and colleague. I am now 51 now and laugh to read that I am grouped in the 'incentive pool' for a prospective employer to be rewarded for employing me.
    It may be that some recruiters or employers or a combination of both need to open their minds, drop their prejudices and embrace the fact that men and women of all ages can and do bring value to an employer during their 20's, 30's, 40s, 50's and beyond.

    I do wonder whether the hardship would reduce for our younger Australians if there were incentives in place for employers to keep entry level jobs in Australia?

  • by Tony 14/05/2014 4:32:53 PM

    So.... what disincentives are in place to prevent faceless big employers from rorting our kids?

    After a year toughing it out through work for the dole and non-payment, a kid is offered a job at "McColesWorths". They eagerly take the job, not knowing that the government is effectively paying half their wage.

    After a period of time, the subsidy runs out. The faceless corporation pushes them to the back of the casual roster, in favour of some other eager unemployed subsidy-attracting youngster....while the jaded youth now faces 6 months wait to get back onto the merrygoround again.

    This is so open to exploitation - it cannot be allowed to happen.

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