The Turnbull Government has allocated $263 million to expand the innovative ParentsNext program across Australia from July 2018.
ParentsNext is a pre-employment program currently operating in 10 local government areas across Australia.
ParentsNext assists parents of young children (under six years), in particular those at risk of long-term unemployment, to plan and prepare for employment before their children are at school. The majority of participants are women.
ParentsNext providers help parents identify their education and employment goals, develop a pathway to achieve their goals and link them to appropriate activities in the local community.
As part of the program, participants attend appointments with their ParentsNext provider, develop and sign a Participation Plan and participate in their agreed activity.
Most parents are required to participate in ParentsNext as a condition of receiving a Parenting Payment, but eligible parents can also volunteer for ParentsNext assistance.
In the first 12 months of ParentsNext (4 April 2016 to 31 March 2017), over 16,800 parents have been referred to a ParentsNext provider.
ParentsNext - assisting parents to plan and prepare for work
Since migrating to Australia from India six years ago, Anitha had been primarily focussed on raising her two children. Ready to get back into the workforce, she found herself feeling disheartened that she couldn’t find work in Australia despite her nine years of Accounting experience in India. Wanting to explore her opportunities to get back into work, Anitha made contact with ParentsNext.
ParentsNext is a free Australian Government program that provides specialised support and assistance to help parents with children under the age of six to plan and prepare for future employment.
To help Anitha gain local work experience and increase her confidence, her local ParentsNext provider, Belinda, assisted her to update her résumé and to find a paid traineeship in an Accounting firm. She also helped Anitha obtain a driver’s license so she could get herself to and from her traineeship.
“I went to ParentsNext and met Belinda. She helped me to write my résumé. This was helpful for me to find my accounting job,” said Anitha.
Anitha is now completing her traineeship and feels ParentsNext is providing her with the additional support she needs.
“Once I entered into ParentsNext, I felt very positive. Because I come from overseas our family is not here so it’s good there are some people to look after us,” said Anitha.
Watch Anitha share her ParentsNext story on the Department of Employment YouTube channel. To find out more about ParentsNext and to see if you’re eligible to participate visit employment.gov.au/parentsnext.