Government s ParentsNext program to force parents into work

Teen parents in welfare hotspots will be put on intensive programs to try and end their reliance on government handouts.

Those on parenting payments in 20 struggling regions of the country will receive intensive one-on-one training, parenting courses and help to get a job.

The aim is stop them relying on long-term support.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will reveal the expansion of the government’s ParentsNext program in Rockhamption on Thursday.

Under the $263 million scheme, parents around the country will be required to make use of the program designed to “support and improve work readiness”.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were due to expand the rollout on Thursday. Photo: AAP

Mr Turnbull will announce today the intensive program will now be expanded to include those living in NSW regions of Dubbo, Tamworth, Mid Coast, North Coast, Inner Sydney and Orange.

In Queensland, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Toowoomba parents will be required to take part while those in Mildura in Victoria’s north will also be added to ParentsNext.

Port Adelaide, Port Augusta and Whyalla in SA, Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs in the NT and Brighton in Tasmania will also be included.

The introduction of 30 new ‘intensive’ areas brings the program to 51 regions in total around Australia.

“(The program) will connect more parents of young children with tailored support to improve their work readiness by the time their children start school,’’ Mr Turnbull said.

The government expects women will be the primary participants in the compulsory program. Photo: AAP

“Helping more parents of young children into work will support more families, reduce welfare dependency and decrease child poverty.”

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash first announced the ParentsNext program last year, rolling it out to 10 areas around the nation.

The scheme is…

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