The Federal Government has announced $20 million in additional funding for State and Territory governments to provide training for single and teenage parents to help them join the workforce.


Announcing the funding, Minister for Skills Senator Chris Evans said the initiative would give single and teenage parents on income support access to vocational training from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma.


"The training will give eligible single and teenage parents the skills and job-readiness they need to participate in the modern workforce," Senator Evans said.


"Training will open up new opportunities for single parents to return to work, possibly after a long period out of the workforce.


"It also boosts the job prospects for teenage parents participating in the Helping Young Parents measure and is part of a comprehensive and coordinated range of services supported by all levels of government in 10 locations around Australia."


Eligible parents will have the opportunity to discuss training options with their Job Services Australia or Disability Employment services provider, or the Department of Human Services.


Where training is the agreed pathway, eligible parents may be referred to appropriate training courses that, as far as possible, fit with their parenting responsibilities


This funding, combined with funding already committed to the National Partnership on Training Places for Single and Teenage Parents, means the Australian Government will contribute $37 million in 2012 to help eligible single and teenage parents access vocational training from certificate level II to advanced diploma.


"We are removing the barriers and giving more Australians the opportunity to train for the first time or improve their existing skills so they can access the jobs we know industry is demanding," Senator Evans said.


Parents affected by changes to the Parenting Payment will be able to access the existing range of assistance and services already available, ensuring they have the support they need to transition back into work.

This includes:

  • A more generous income test for single principal carer parents from 1 January 2013,
  • an increase in the tax free threshold from $6000 to $18 200;
  • access to individually tailored employment services;
  • additional funding for professional career advisory services;
  • an extra $225.6 million over four years in child care assistance;
  • the new Schoolkids Bonus; and
  • increases to Family Tax Benefit Part A from 1 July 2013, announced as part of the 2012-13 Budget.