Govt boosts help for redundant workers

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Govt boosts help for redundant workers

Workers made redundant in the current economic downturn will now be able to access immediate assistance following the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $298.5 million for employment services.

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Workers made redundant in the current economic downturn will now be able to access immediate assistance following the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $298.5 million for employment services.
 
From 1 April redundant workers will now receive immediate and personalised assistance to help them get back into the workforce.
 
Immediate support
 
Rather than having to wait at least three months to receive intensive personalised assistance, from today all newly redundant workers will now receive this support immediately.
 
This intensive assistance will be the equivalent to Stream 2 services such as:
  • career advice
  • a comprehensive skills assessment
  • skills development training
  • IT support and stationery support to help with job applications
  • targeted referral to appropriate education and training
  • $550 credit to the Employment Pathway Fund to pay for items such computer courses, heavy vehicle licence, safety boots and work uniforms.
 
The Job Seeker Account is also being made more flexible to allow funds to be used to assist job seekers without the need for unnecessary red tape.
 
More training places
 
In addition, the Rudd Government has committed $75 million to assist newly retrenched workers access training.
 
Ten thousand additional training places will be made available under the successful Productivity Places Program and delivered by Registered Training Organisations.
 
The extra services for redundant workers have been welcomed by employer groups.
 
Business Council of Australia chief executive Katie Lahey said the longer a person stays out of work, the more difficult the task of returning to employment can become.
 
‘We need to limit the effect of the downturn on individuals and the economy in order to position Australia more strongly for recovery,’ she said.
 
‘Measures to reduce the time an employee spends out of the workforce will be vital in achieving this,’ she said.
 
Retain skills
 
Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said the announcement will help the newly unemployed bounce back into the job market.
 
‘Better matching [of] newly retrenched workers with available jobs will also help the business community retain workforce skills and add to economic efficiency,’ he said.
 
Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said there is no doubt that pressures are growing on employment.
 
‘Spot on’, says Ridout
 
‘The additional investment in employment services is 'spot on', sensible and very necessary in the current uncertain economic climate,’ she said.
 
‘The sooner retrenched workers are re-engaged with the workforce or given training appropriate to their circumstances the better it is for both the individual concerned and the economy as a whole.’
 
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