Govt help in Budget for job seekers

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Govt help in Budget for job seekers

The 2012 Budget provides extra financial support for people looking for work or training to increase workforce qualifications.

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The 2012 Budget provides extra financial support for people looking for work or training to increase workforce qualifications.

Newstart waiting period
 
The Budget provides $40m, over four years, to ensure newly unemployed Australians and students can keep more of their savings while looking for a new job or studying.

Applicants can have up to double the amount in liquid assets before being subject to the waiting period to receive the Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy.

The new thresholds will be set at $5000 for a single person (with no dependent children) and $10,000 for a person who is partnered or has a dependent child.

Previously, new claimants of Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy who were single and had more than $2500 cash in the bank could be required to wait for up to 13 weeks before receiving assistance, and partnered people or parents had to wait for up to 13 weeks if they had more than $5000 cash.

Around 21,000 people ―14,000 single and 7000 partnered or with dependent children ― each year will begin receiving payment up to five weeks earlier under this measure.

Support for mature age employees
 
The Australian Government will invest $25.8m, over four years, to provide additional assistance for eligible mature age Australians to help them find and keep a job.

Beginning on 1 January 2013, the Mature Age Participation ― Job Seeker Assistance Program will provide eligible job seekers aged 55 years and over with intensive job preparation assistance, including refresher or basic training in information technology, skills reviews and peer support.

The program will also provide up to $500 per participant to purchase items or services they need to get work ready, such as a home internet connection or necessary computer software or hardware, which can be critical for job searching.

Professional career counselling, help with financial planning and the opportunity to share their experiences with other mature age Australians also looking for work, will be key features of the new program.

Child care boost
 
The government will invest an extra $225.1m, over four years, in child care assistance to help more parents receive the training and skills they need to enter or return to the workforce.

Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance (JETCCFA) provides assistance with child care fees for parents on income support ― mostly single parents ― while they are studying or training to get the skills they need to find a job.
This increased investment will see more than 130,000 parents across the country receive assistance to join the workforce and provide for their young families.

More training places
 
The latest tranche of the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) will support 130 new workplace skills projects with an additional 15,000 individuals benefitting from training. This $43m round of funding will take the total allocated in 2011–12 through the NWDF to approximately $110m.

The government will invest $6.5m in funding to develop and expand the My Skills website and $18.1m over four years to establish three Australian Skills Centres of Excellence.

Working age Australians will be entitled to a government-subsidised training place to obtain a qualification up to their first Certificate III, including foundation skills or lower qualifications within the Certificate III.

The Australian Government will also make available HECS-style loans for government-subsidised diploma and advanced diploma students, which will reduce upfront costs for students undertaking higher level qualifications.
 
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