Federal budget 2021 breakdown: what you need to know

11 May 2021

Federal budget 2021 breakdown: what you need to know

The government handed down the 2021 budget last night. A big focus will be continuing the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and that means more funding for jobs creation and training.

Here’s a summary of how the budget will affect you if you’re looking for work, underemployed or looking at retraining.


Investing in young people

The Government is investing a further $481.2 million in the Transition to Work employment service to ensure young Australians have the best opportunity to enter the workforce. This specialist youth employment service helps unemployed Australians aged 15 to 24 find work or study.

Employer incentives to hire young people: JobMaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker hiring credit program will receive an extra $2.7 billion. This is expected to help create 170,000 new roles. The scheme, which was announced last October, is strongly focused on helping young people into work. It offers employers up to $200 a week to hire workers aged between 16 and 35.

Affordable access to training and upskilling: JobTrainer

An additional $500 million over two years will be directed to the JobTrainer program. This will create around 163,000 new places for school leavers and give unemployed young people access to free or low-fee courses. It includes 10,000 places in digital skills courses.

Eligibility for the program has also been expanded to include those most affected by COVID-19. This means people in industries like tourism will be offered intensive support to retrain.

More funding for digital skills and services

The Government is investing over $100 million in initiatives to build the digital skills of Australians to meet the needs of the modern Australian workplace.

Apprenticeship opportunities keep growing

There will continue to be plenty of opportunities for those considering an apprenticeship.

The Government’s spending an additional $2.7 billion to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program. The is expected to support more than 170,000 new apprentices and trainees. Businesses receive a 50 percent wage subsidy over 12 months for apprentices or trainees who start with them.

This is complemented by a massive focus on infrastructure, as part of the government’s focus on post-pandemic jobs creation. $15.2 billion of funding over 10 years is for road, rail and community projects will increase the demand for apprentices in trades.

There will also be a focus on helping 5,000 women get into a non-traditional apprenticeship.

Growing jobs in care

A big focus will be on creating more jobs and training opportunities in care. The Government is supporting an additional 33,800 training places provided through JobTrainer to enable existing and new care workers to improve their qualifications.

There will also be an additional $13.2 billion given to the National Disability Insurance Scheme which supports thousands of disability care jobs.

New Business Assistance Program

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme will also receive an extra $129.8 million to streamline the program, in a bid to encourage individuals who want to start their own business.

The New Business Assistance currently offers support payments to 12,000 individuals working on their own businesses. The new funding will pay for an additional 1,000 places in the New Business Assistance stream and another 350 places in the ‘Exploring Being My Own Boss Workshop’ program.

Other areas that will help jobseekers

Funding that increases the JobSeeker rate

The Government is following through on its pledge to give $9.3 billion in funding for income support recipients so they can focus on finding a job. From 1 April 2021, the rates of JobSeeker Payment and other working‑age income support payments increased permanently by $50 per fortnight, benefiting around 1.9 million recipients.

The Government has raised the income free area for JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting payments to $150 per fortnight, to encourage more individuals to enter the workforce.

Employer incentives to hire those most in need

Wage subsidies for eligible jobseekers receiving jobactive, Transition to Work and ParentsNext payments will also increase to $10,000. This measure is designed to encourage employers to hire individuals who are disadvantaged.

This incentive alongside a broader review of the employment services model. The new model will replace jobactive and give job seekers the ability more choice and control.

Childcare subsidy increase

The Government has committed $1.7 billion over 3 years to increase childcare subsidies, from 2022. This is aimed at stopping the cost of childcare doubling or tripling for families with more than one child.

Mental health funding

A new network of mental health counselling clinics catering to Australians over 25 will be launched across the country, as part of a $2.3 billion mental health package.

The Government will spend $487 million on the Head to Health program, which will be made up of 40 mental health treatment centres, and an additional $111 million on a digital platform. Head to Health will serve Australians who are older or have outgrown the existing Headspace program for those aged 12 to 25. The Government will also spend $278m to create 10 more Headspace clinics.

$114 million will also be provided to extend Medicare rebates for telehealth until the end of the year.

Tax offset for low and middle income earners

There will be an additional $7.2 billion to extend the low and middle-income tax offset for another year, with an estimated 10 million workers to benefit.

If you’re looking for work, we can help. Register your interest for employment support today.

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