The Australian Government will make support available to fund assistance for job seekers across the country to get a driver’s licence in a move that will help address a significant barrier to many entering the workforce.
Job seekers participating in employment services through a jobactive provider will be eligible to access increased support for driving lessons to help them complete the required hours to get their driver’s licence. In addition to the increased assistance for driving lessons, jobactive employment services providers can also support job seekers with other travel costs such as public transport and fuel.
With nearly one third of job seekers on the jobactive caseload indicating they do not currently hold a driver’s licence, around 330,000 individuals may be eligible for the support nationally.
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert said the assistance would be particularly helpful for people living in outer-suburban and regional areas who need to travel greater distances to get to their place of employment or training.
“A critical part of succeeding at an interview or at a new job is being able to travel to and from work easily – which is why I have directed this change to ensure job seekers are able to more easily travel safely to training, interviews or to start a new job or apprenticeship,” Minister Robert said.
“As we continue to suppress the virus, getting as many Australians into work as possible is critical to securing our economic recovery, and helping job seekers get a driver’s licence will increase their independence and mobility as well as boosting their prospects for getting into work.”
Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said this would help job seekers across North East Victoria who were facing barriers to getting into a job.
“Our jobs plan, outlined in the recent Budget, is to connect people with jobs today and upskill our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. This change contributes to our government’s plan to get all Australians who can work into a job,” Senator McKenzie said.
“In the regions, it’s often necessary for people to have a driver’s license for work. This support will provide a helping hand for Indi residents to get a job and boost local economic recovery.”
Driving lessons in Australia can be cost prohibitive for many Australians generally costing between $55 and $70 an hour. Driver’s licence fees vary by state and by licence level. This change supports all Australians, regardless of where they live.
For more information on the range of support available to job seekers, visit: www.jobsearch.gov.au