PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull stopped off in Rockhampton today, to make a $263 million announcement.
The money will provide training and support to assist thousands of Australian parents return to the workforce.
The ParentsNext programme will be expanded across the country and today the Government has announced 20 new locations.
The centres will connect more parents of young children with tailored support to improve their work readiness by the time their children start school.
Workforce participation is central to improving the long term wellbeing of all Australians.
Helping more parents of young children into work will support more families, reduce welfare dependency and decrease child poverty.
ParentsNext currently operates in 10 locations across Australia.
From July 1 next year, it will be expanded and delivered in two streams:
The first stream will be targeted to the most disadvantaged parents in all 51 Employment Regions covered by jobactive providers; and
The more intensive stream will be delivered to a further 20 locations where there is a high proportion of parenting payment recipients who are Indigenous Australians. This will complement the ten existing locations.
Since launching in 10 priority locations in April last year, ParentsNext has already helped more than 10,000 parents into training and education, community services such as counselling, or paid work.
The program has made a deep and positive impact in the lives of many parents of young children, who received the support and guidance they needed to find their way into employment.
The national expansion will see approximately 68,000 parents each year receive assistance under the program.
The four new Queensland locations, to join Rockhampton, are Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, and Toowoomba.