Jobs Australia and its ParentsNext Member organisations welcome the Select Committee on Workforce Australia recommendation for a new specialist pre-vocational service to support vulnerable parents and a separate specialist program to support young and teenage parents. Jobs Australia recognises the outstanding achievements of its Members in delivering the current ParentsNext program.

The Committee acknowledged that since the rollout of the national program in 2018, well over 50% of ParentsNext participants commenced into education and 30% into employment. In Jobs Australia’s joint Member submission to the Committee, it was argued the more punitive aspects of ParentsNext would be better replaced with a fairer and more positive approach to engagement in the program.

The Committee has accepted this recommendation, and Jobs Australia and its Members look forward to working with the government to ensure a fairer approach to participant engagement. The new recommended program will continue prioritising progress towards parents’ skills and educational goals and accessing suitable parent-friendly employment opportunities.

Our Members have deep connections with their local communities. They are well placed to transition to a new model of support and continue to deliver these critical services to parents beyond 2024.