State Budget Allocates $100 million for Back to Work Initiative in Queensland

July 14, 20168:11 am442 views

Small to medium size employers in Queensland have received a welcome incentive to increase their workforce following the State Budget announcement yesterday.

From July 1, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who employ a job seeker in a role located outside South East Queensland would be eligible for payments of up to $15,000 through the Back to Work Regional Jobs Package.

Employment Minister, Grace Grace said the Back to Work initiative would be available only in areas outside South East Queensland. “Our Back to Work initiative is all about bringing more jobs to regional Queensland. It’s a $100 million package that will give businesses the confidence to employ regional job seekers, while providing an economic boost to the regions in challenging times.”

“We’re specifically targeting regional Queensland communities because of the particular employment challenges they’re facing. Regional employers who hire an eligible unemployed person will get a $10,000 payment under this initiative,” Grace added.

“This will rise to $15,000 for the long-term unemployed who have been out of work for 12 months or more”.

Grace said the Back to Work Regional Jobs Package would be available only in areas outside South East Queensland and included:

  • $80 million for support payments for employers to take on regional jobseekers, including those disadvantaged in the labour market, such as the long-term unemployed, young people, mature aged jobseekers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders;
  • $10 million for the Certificate 3 Guarantee Boost Program that will see more Queenslanders able to access subsidised courses to obtain jobs; and
  • $10 million for Back to Work officers who know the local economy and local employers, and can connect employers and jobseekers to opportunities and support, including through Regional Employment Networks.

BUSY at Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY welcomed the announcement. “This is great news for employers in the region that are doing it tough, as it will provide them with support to help build their skills base and upskill and retrain people for jobs.”

See: Majority of Australian HR managers Plan to Maintain Current Staff Levels over Next Six Months

“Apprentices and trainees are also regarded as eligible employees, provided their employer is not eligible for the Government’s payroll tax rebate. That is employers whose total annual wages are under the payroll tax threshold of $1.1 million,” Miles added.

Eligible employees will also have access to job readiness support to help them start their new job. This may include training, purchasing new equipment and uniforms or gaining or renewing trade licenses.

Back to Work officers will work across the following regions: Outback, Far North, Townsville, Wide Bay, Fitzroy, Mackay, and South West Queensland.

The South East Queensland region is not eligible for funding under the program in recognition of the unique employment challenges facing regional Queensland.

To be eligible for the support payments, your new employee must commence employment on, or after, 1 July 2016 and be employed for at least four weeks before you can apply.

Also read: Over a third of Australian Technology Leaders Plan to Increase Staff Levels over the Next 6 Months

Image credit: nra.net.au

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