The Palaszczuk Government will revitalise its successful Back to Work employment program to support more Queenslanders into jobs, with $140 million to be invested over the next four years.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the refreshed program, unveiled in this year’s State Budget, will provide greater access to on-the-ground support for eligible employers and disadvantaged jobseekers.
“Wherever you are in Queensland, you deserve the chance to get a good job,” Minister Farmer said.
“We fund these job creating initiatives not only because they provide vital career opportunities to Queenslanders, but because they help small businesses too: over 80% of employers benefiting from Back to Work are small businesses.
“Across the state small businesses are telling me that trying to get people to fill the jobs they have is a major challenge.
“Since 2016, the Back to Work program has seen more than 25,000 people get into work because of the assistance provided to more than 11,800 employers.
“As we enter the latest phase of Queensland’s economic recovery, the Back to Work program will include additional support for employers and jobseekers to support long-term and sustainable employment.
“The focus will be on those jobseekers who experience significant disadvantage in the labour market, who often require more intensive support to find a job.
“There’ll be payments of $15,000 to eligible businesses to who employ an eligible job seeker including the long term unemployed, an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or someone with disability, and there’ll be a $20,000 youth boost payment for eligible businesses to employ an eligible Queenslander under 25.
“We are unashamedly focussed on getting our young people in the regions into jobs.
“These payments will create genuine, long-term employment outcomes.”
In addition to the financial employer incentives, a new range of intensive support for both jobseekers, employers and their employees will be available.
“We’ve made a number of changes in response to specific feedback we received after speaking with thousands of businesses at the Small Business Roadshow earlier this year,” Minister Farmer said.
“We’ve also added more elements to the program – including mentoring sessions, training guidance, and support to secure possible employment requirements like a driving licence or a blue card – to ensure both job seekers and businesses have what they need to succeed.
“This wraparound support will not only help businesses recruit workers, but, vitally, to retain them too.”
“We are committed to tackling youth unemployment which is why Back to Work has a particular focus on young people. This is on top of our investment in free TAFE and free apprenticeships, which has supported over 34,200 young Queenslanders so far.
“Through the revitalised Back to Work program we’re doing things differently and trying new approaches to support these key cohorts to ensure they take advantage of the opportunities presented to them,” Minister Farmer said.
“The Palaszczuk Government made investing in skills and backing small business a key part of our Economic Recovery Plan.
The Back to Work program has helped thousands of people into work, including Sheryn in Mackay.
“I was unemployed and wanted to get a job that was fulfilling but also offered flexibility as I have a young family,” Sheryn said.
“After meeting with my local Back to Work Jobseeker Officer, I decided to do a Certificate III in Education Support.
“I am now employed as a Teacher Aide, which never would have happened without the support of the Back to Work program.
“I now have a job, that only works well for me but for my family too.
“My experience with Back to Work has been very positive, informative and stress free. This was because of my ongoing interactions with my local Jobseeker Officer. I would definitely recommend the Back to Work program to anyone”.
The revitalised Back to Work program will be available from 1 July 2021. To learn more about the program visit www.qld.gov.au/backtowork