JobMaker credit open to employers hiring younger workers

‘We owe it to the next generation to ensure a strong economy,’ Frydenberg said

JobMaker credit open to employers hiring younger workers

The Morrison government is ensuring the next generation of workers won’t be left behind in an economy reeling from the pandemic, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

The Federal Budget 2020 unveiled this week includes incentives to businesses that will hire young Australians, and opens new pathways for upskilling them.

Frydenberg announced a new JobMaker hiring credit, payable for up to 12 months, for companies that will employ workers aged 16 to 35. “It will be paid at the rate of $200 per week for those aged under 30, and $100 per week for those aged between 30 and 35,” he said.

The incentive aims to open 450,000 job vacancies for young workers across Australia.

New employees are required to render 20 hours of work per week and must have been receiving support such as JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment for at least one month in the three months prior to hiring.

Read more: JobSeekers are facing rate cuts – and fewer vacancies

The government is also expanding its upskilling programs by allocating $1.2bn to 100,000 new apprentices and trainees, and providing a 50% wage subsidy to businesses that enlist them.

Before this, the government had already invested $1bn in creating 340,000 training places for school leavers and jobseekers. It is also funding the following:

  • 50,000 new higher education short courses in agriculture, health, IT, science and teaching
  • 12,000 new commonwealth-supported places for higher education in 2021
  • 2,000 Indigenous students through the Clontarf Foundation to complete year 12 and pursue further education or find employment

“We owe it to the next generation to ensure a strong economy so that their lives are filled with the same opportunities and possibilities we have enjoyed,” Frydenberg said.

Read more: JobSeeker plan could cost 145,000 jobs: report

As Australia rebuilds its economy, investing in the youth is a step in the right direction – but business and community leaders must guide them towards the right career path, one HR leader said.

“It is comforting and critical that the government has recognised the important need to invest in this younger generation. They are both the worst-affected as a group by COVID in the short term, and they are also likely to beat a larger cost of the impact of COVID on the economy and employment opportunities for the next five to 10 years,” said Barbara Hyman, CEO of AI-based hiring platform PredictiveHire.

“Despite this, the investment in training only pays off if the individual has a good idea of what jobs they are best suited to. And, we all know, career counselling from school and beyond is pretty much non-existent,” Hyman told HRD.

“The more understanding for the kind of role and environment that brings out the best in an 18- or 25-year-old, and the deeper self-awareness they have about their strengths, the more ROI both the government and the individual will get from this massive investment,” she said.

“Scalable career discovery should really be a part of this and the R&D backing in this year’s budget should be used. That way, the hundreds of thousands of young people who are making these life career choices can do so with confidence. This technology is here now through AI-led personalised scalable career coaching,” Hyman said.

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