The Government is taking the ‘jobs and growth’ mantra seriously in this year’s Federal Budget with the creation and funding of the Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) program. The program has been allocated $750 million dollars to assist up to 120,000 job seekers under 25 find work.
The program has been broken down into three key areas; skills training, internships and wage subsidies for businesses. Skills training will involve teamwork activities, presentation, technology literacy and job hunting skills.
Internships will be voluntary and employers will gain an automatic $1000 up front if they take on an intern. While not a huge win for job seekers, they are still paid $250 a week while interning. If a business chooses to move an intern to paid employment, they receive wage subsidies of up to $10,000.
Matthew Horton, Founder of foundU says this is a strategic move away from Tony Abbot’s previous Work for the Dole program. Abbot’s program forced job seekers to wait for six months until they could receive the dole, which was poorly received by the Australian public.
Matthew sees value in the new Job PaTHs program but foresees the challenges businesses will face managing new Job PaTH interns and how to transition them from unpaid to paid employees.
Companies should look to use cloud-based human resource systems to properly manage their staff. The Government won’t hand out subsidies blindly and will need proof that Job PaTH employees are being paid correctly declares Matthew.
A comprehensive human resource system will allow employers to track hours worked, pay staff under the correct award and generate reports that can be easily be understood by the Government.
It is important to note that Job PaTH staff will be hired on a casual basis. The program mentions that jobseekers and employers work together to design a ‘work placement’ that runs from four weeks to three months. During the placement the employee can work 15-25 hours a week.
“Employers should look for a human resource software provider that has the ability to manage temporary placements. Established businesses may struggle if they are constantly changing staff and need a software solution that can adapt to fluctuating staff levels.”
“The try-before-you buy concept should allay the fears of hiring under 25s with underdeveloped skills. It’s just whether they can be properly managed and properly utilised.”
The program will begin 1st April, 2017.