Government Programs

Government Programs Jon Wundersitz Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:54

Government assistance is available to help job seekers find the right job, and to help employers find the right workers. More information can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website or you can call the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

Self-employment and entrepreneurship

Self-employment and entrepreneurship Jon Wundersitz Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:55

For many people, starting and running a business is an alternative pathway to employment or an opportunity for a career change.

An entrepreneur is anyone who starts and builds a business. There are people who are able to turn their hobby into a business and make money as a sole trader, people who start a new business but remain small (with just a few employees) and there are high-growth start-ups which focus on scale and export from the outset.

All new businesses are unique in their approach, planning and trajectory.

Self-employment can benefit individuals and the economy

Self-employment has many potential benefits for business owners, including the flexibility to work when and how they choose, the opportunity to learn new skills, and the ability to generate income. More than half of Australians think that there are good opportunities to start a business and almost half believe they possess the skills to do so. Self-employment and entrepreneurship gives people the freedom to do things differently and to come up with new ideas. Small businesses are more likely to be innovative and bring new goods and services to a market than large businesses.

In addition to the potential benefits to individuals, small businesses are valuable to the Australian economy. In 2019, there were around 2.3 million small businesses (employing fewer than 20 workers) in Australia that employed around 4.9 million Australians (44% of the workforce) and accounted for 35% of Australia’s gross domestic profit. 

Self-employment considerations

Starting and running a business can be a rewarding but challenging experience, and not all small businesses survive. While there were just over 2 million small businesses operating in June 2014, only 1.3 million (or 65%) were still in business in June 2018. In addition, small business owners often have net income below the average Australian wage. Of those who think there are good opportunities to start a business, more than 40% state that fear of failure would prevent them from doing so.

Starting your own business may require start-up funding, an idea, long hours, resourcefulness, and hard work. Exploring your idea, thinking about the skills and funding you need, and undertaking business planning are good first steps if you are thinking about starting your own business. It is also important to have support and guidance throughout your journey to becoming a small business owner.

Where to go for support?

There are a number of government resources available to assist people who want to start their own business and show what self-employment may look like for them.

SelfStart Online Hub

The SelfStart Online Hub is a starting point for people who wish to explore and develop their ideas into a successful business. SelfStart aims to connect people to existing services and programs, as well as provide information that will assist them to start a business. For more information, go to

New Business Assistance with NEIS

New Business Assistance with NEIS helps people start their own business. The program provides accredited business training, assistance to develop a business plan and mentoring and advice in the first year of a new business. Since the program was introduced in 1985, it has helped more than 180,000 people start their own business.

New Business Assistance with NEIS is delivered by a national network of NEIS providers. You can find your nearest NEIS provider and more information at

Entrepreneurship Facilitators

Entrepreneurship Facilitators are located in 23 locations across Australia to provide practical assistance to support and encourage people looking to start a business. Facilitators provide information and advice through workshops, networking events and one-on-one mentoring providing tailored advice. They also help people connect with other appropriate services that are available to help start and run a business, for example, New Business Assistance with NEIS or business support services.

Contact details for Entrepreneurship Facilitators are available from

The Australian Government provides information to help people plan, start or run their own business. The ‘Starting a Business Guide’ provides step-by-step information to help new business owners understand what's ahead when starting a new business in Australia, and is available at

Sources: Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Small Business Counts 2019; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: GEM Australia – 2017/18 National Report; ABS, Counts of Australian Businesses.

Employee and employer incentives

Employee and employer incentives Jon Wundersitz Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:55

Government assistance is available to help job seekers find the right job, and to help employers find the right workers. The information below is summary in nature and cannot fully explain the large number of policies, programs and incentives available. More information can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website or you can call the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

Some useful resources are provided below.


jobactive is the Australian Government’s way to get more Australians into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providers in over 1700 locations across Australia. jobactive providers assist job seekers to get and keep a job, and offer employers an end-to-end tailored recruitment service to find and hire staff. The jobactive website can help job seekers to find and apply for jobs, keep track of job searches, create a personal profile and get job alerts. Employers who hire an eligible job seeker could be eligible to receive a wage subsidy.

A jobactive provider can help job seekers to

  • write a résumé
  • look for work
  • prepare for interviews
  • get the skills that local employers need
  • find and keep a job
  • connect job seekers to a range of government initiatives.

A jobactive provider can help employers to

  • screen and shortlist applicants
  • find candidates for their business
  • assist new employees after they start work
  • access wage subsidies if they hire an eligible employee.

The jobactive website can help job seekers and employers find out more about jobactive and to find local providers. Job seekers can also call the Job Seeker Hotline on 1800 805 260, and employers can call the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.

Youth Jobs PaTH

An Australian Government program that supports young people to gain the work experience and skills they need to get a job. Through Youth Jobs PaTH, young job seekers can undertake practical face-to-face training, tailored to their needs, to improve their job preparation skills.

Job seekers can undertake an internship placement with a business looking for new staff. This allows employers to trial a young person in their business for 4-12 weeks, for 30 to 50 hours per fortnight, where there is a reasonable prospect of employment at the end of the trial. If the trial results in employment, the employer may be eligible to receive a wage subsidy. Youth Jobs PaTH has 3 steps: Prepare—Trial —Hire.

Transition to Work

Supports young people (aged 15-24) on their journey to employment. Transition to Work helps workers get job-ready with intensive pre-employment support and help them set and achieve employment and education goals.

Transition to Work providers work with employers to find and hire a young person suited to their organisation. Support can include a trial placement before starting the job. If the placement is a good fit and the young person is hired, the employer may be eligible to receive a wage subsidy. See the website for more information.

National Work Experience Programme

The National Work Experience Programme places job seekers in real life unpaid work experience placements. It helps job seekers gain experience and confidence, while demonstrating skills to potential employers. Businesses may be eligible to receive an incentive payment for hosting a National Work Experience Programme candidate and, if participants are offered ongoing employment after the placement, businesses may also be eligible for a wage subsidy. 

Disability Employment Services

For job seekers with a disability, injury or health condition who need help to find or keep a job, Disability Employment Services can help. The JobAccess website also has comprehensive information to help job seekers understand their rights and responsibilities, find financial support for workplace modifications and help to find and keep a job.

A Disability Employment Services provider can help an employer to hire someone with a disability. They will also provide support to:

  • Access financial assistance in the form of a wage subsidy to help with the costs of work-related modifications and services
  • Provide post-placement support while the new employee settles in.

Community Development Program

The Community Development Program can help job seekers in remote areas of Australia improve their workplace skills and employability. The support is tailored to the workforce needs of the area and helps contribute to the local community.

For businesses based in remote areas, the Community Development Program can offer financial incentives to manage the costs of employing remote job seekers. The program is designed around the unique social and labour market conditions found in remote Australia.

Australian Apprenticeships

Provides information on apprenticeships and traineeships, including factsheets and links. An Australian Apprenticeship offers job seekers the opportunity to explore a new job, gain new skills, work flexible hours and receive a qualification. Eligible employers can receive financial incentives to help take on an apprentice, particularly if the apprenticeship is in a trade experiencing a skill shortage. Visit the website for more information.

Useful Websites and Links

Useful Websites and Links Jon Wundersitz Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:56

Help finding a job or choosing a career

School Leavers Information Kit and School Leavers Information Service

This kit has a range of resources and information to help school leavers understand their education, training and work options in 2021. For more tailored support or guidance, school leavers can call, text or email the School Leavers Information Service to talk to an information officer or careers practitioner.

Call 1800 CAREER (1800 227 337) or sms 'SLIS2020' to 0429 009 435 to chat to someone who can help you. This is a free service, however, minimal call/text costs may apply. If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment and/or have a speech impairment, call 1300 555 727 (speak and listen) and ask for 1800 CAREER (1800 227 337) or go to the National Relay Service website for other options.

Job Outlook

Job Outlook can help you make decisions about study and training, getting your first job, or the next step in your career. It provides information about Australian careers, labour market trends and employment projections.  It also has a careers quiz to help you identify what type of work you most like doing, and the skills match tool which will show you jobs and careers that match your skill set.

Job Jumpstart

The Job Jumpstart website is a one-stop-shop for practical, independent and free employment planning advice. The website offers information and resources for young people, to help them

  • learn about the different ways to contact employers about jobs
  • find out about the jobs and industries that might suit them
  • understand how to develop their skills and build their experience
  • learn how to make their job application stand out
  • adjust to the workforce and understand their workplace rights and responsibilities.

What’s Next?

The What’s Next? website provides a range of online resources to help workers facing retrenchment to manage the transition to their next job as quickly as possible.

Information about tertiary education and training

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching

Provides information about Australian universities, including study experiences and employment outcomes.


An online database of Vocational Education and Training options, including information about providers, courses, outcomes and fees.

Information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and Registered Training Organisations.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research

Provides research and statistics about Vocational Education and Training and the links between education and the labour market.


An online career exploration service which includes information on a range of career-related topics.

Understanding the labour market

National Skills Commission

The National Skills Commission provides data and insights on Australia’s labour market, workforce changes and identifies current and emerging skills needs. It routinely publishes information on a range of labour market issues such as the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and identifying emerging occupations within Australia.

Labour Market Information Portal

The National Skills Commission’s Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) brings together data from a range of official sources to help you understand your local labour market.

Data sources

Data sources Jon Wundersitz Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:57

National Skills Commission

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

  • Labour Force, Australia, September 2020
  • Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, August 2019
  • Education and Work, May 2019
  • Characteristics of Employment, Australia, August 2019
  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification

Employment data at the national and state level are seasonally adjusted (where available). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABS has suspended the publication of trend estimates until the medium to long-term nature of the impact is understood. All other data are annual averages of original data.

Employment data at the regional level are 12 month averages of original data.

  • Because of the different bases for these data, state and regional employment and employment change figures are not comparable.

Employment data for Industry and Occupation groups are ABS data seasonally adjusted by the National Skills Commission (where available) but all other employment data (such as employment profile figures) are annual averages of original data.

For many small occupations and regions, the standard errors are relatively large. Accordingly, employment data may exhibit considerable variation and should be used with caution.

Regional areas are defined as those outside Greater Sydney, Greater Melbourne, Greater Brisbane, Greater Adelaide, Greater Perth, Greater Hobart, Darwin and the Australian Capital Territory.

The ‘no post-school qualification’ figures are for employed persons who have not completed education other than pre-primary, primary or secondary education. The ‘other qualification’ figures include - vocational education and training certificate I, II and not further defined; level of education inadequately described; and level of education not stated.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

  • Higher Education Student Data Collections

Higher education data are for domestic student enrolments in universities.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching

  • 2019 Graduate Outcomes Survey

Undergraduate and postgraduate full-time employment outcomes are a proportion of those who were available for full-time work four months after completing their degree. Overall employment outcomes are a proportion of those who were available for any work four months after completing their degree.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research

  • Apprentice and Trainees, 2020 (March quarter)
  • Total VET Students and Courses, 2019
  • VET Student Outcomes, 2019

Vocational Education and Training graduate employment outcomes data are for all graduates who improved employment status after training. Vocational Education and Training student enrolment data are for individuals who were enrolled in a subject or program in 2019.

Some Vocational Education and Training student enrolment data relate to program enrolments (that is, study for a qualification course or skill set).