The Gillard Labor Government will provide immediate and practical support to affected workers and communities following BlueScope Steel's decision to reduce its operations.
These support measures are in addition to the new advance facility announced by the Government today that will allow BlueScope to bring forward up to $100 million of payments under the Government's Steel Transformation Plan.
The Gillard Labor Government is standing shoulder to shoulder with the communities of the Illawarra and Mornington Peninsula in these tough times, with practical support to help workers find new jobs and strengthen local economies. The Government's package of worker and community support includes:
This comprehensive response will be monitored and reviewed to ensure the measures are effective in meeting the needs of businesses, workers and the communities. The Government will respond further if necessary to ensure the affected communities make a successful economic transition.
For information about any of the assistance available in this package, call the Australian Government Bluescope Support Hotline on 1800 107 233.
As the causes of BlueScope's decision are a result of broader economic factors - particularly the high Australian dollar - which are impacting in different ways right across Australia, the Gillard Government has been taking action at a national level to strengthen our patchwork economy. For example, the Gillard Government has announced measures to:
The Gillard Government is determined to continue strengthening our economy and providing practical measures to support employment, businesses and communities in our patchwork economy.
22 August 2011
The Government has announced an assistance package to support BlueScope workers made redundant in Illawarra, New South Wales and Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
Job Services Australia Assistance
As part of this package of assistance, redundant workers will have immediate access to Job Services Australia.
Job Services Australia providers will be available to assess each job seeker's circumstances in detail and provide intensive support services.
This includes working with job seekers to develop a tailored Employment Pathway Plan that will help them find another job as quickly as possible.
Job Services Australia providers will, for example:
Workers will have six months after they have been made redundant to access this assistance.
Connecting People with Jobs assists job seekers to relocate to other locations to take up employment. In normal circumstances job seekers must have been unemployed for three months to be eligible for assistance.
BlueScope workers who are made redundant will receive immediate access. Eligible job seekers who have found a job or apprenticeship can receive up to $6,000 to help with the costs of relocating. Families with dependants may be eligible to receive an additional $3,000. Employers who take on relocating job seekers receive a $2500 wage subsidy. This is in recognition of the additional support and assistance individuals need in the early stages of their new jobs.
BlueScope workers will have access to training programs to help them receive skills relevant to industries where job opportunities exist. Job services Australia providers will be credited with $2,880 in the Employment Pathway Fund (EPF) for every Bluescope worker made redundant to purchase any necessary training or additional assistance that will assist in these job seekers returning to employment. This may include engaging with the States to undertake skill assessments of impacted workers, provide training to assist workers to gain licences and tickets and utilise existing apprenticeship measures to support employment of apprentices.
Employment Pathway Plan
Job Services Australia providers will meet with job seekers regularly to help them develop a tailored Employment Pathway Plan.
Specifically, the Employment Pathway Plan can help by:
Language Literacy and Numeracy Program
The Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program provides training places for retrenched workers over the age of 25 to build their foundation skills.
Centrelink and Job Services Australia can refer job seekers to a Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program provider.
If eligible, this program will help them to improve reading, writing or maths skills with the expectation that such improvements will enable them to participate more effectively in training or in the workforce.
Special Child Care Benefit
If a worker is made redundant and is having difficulty meeting child care costs, they may be eligible for the Special Child Care Benefit.
Help to manage finances
Centrelink offers free, unbiased financial advice about redundancy packages and government assistance. Eligibility for income support will depend on the job seeker's personal circumstances, including your income and assets. If eligible for income support, it may not be available for a period of time, depending on leave or redundancy payments.
Mature age job seekers
Redundant mature age workers also have access to free, professional career counselling through the Experience+ Career Advice service. The Career Advisers will help mature age workers make informed decisions about their future career and become more confident to achieve their workforce goals, such as identifying their transferrable skills, exploring appropriate career options and preparing a plan of action to help them find a job.
Job seekers with disability and mental health conditions
People with a disability or who experience mental health issues and have special workplace support needs may be eligible for Disability Employment Services. A Disability Employment Services provider can help with specialist assistance and provide ongoing support to help them find and keep a job. Job Services Australia providers can also talk to job seekers about eligibility and help have their eligibility assessed if needed.
Local Employment Coordinators
Local Employment Coordinators are working in 20 Priority Employment Areas across Australia to help drive the local response to redundancies and coordinate government, community and business partnerships which stimulate local economies and generate new job opportunities.
Where redundancies occur in Priority Employment Areas, Local Employment Coordinators will work closely with local stakeholders to support affected workers, such as through Jobs and Skills Expos to help drive local labour market solutions.
The Local Employment Coordinator in the Illawarra region has a network of connections to draw on in the Priority Employment Area that will ensure workers receive the help they need, when they need it. This includes NSW State Training Services, Centrelink and employment service and training providers.
Who to contact for assistance
Centrelink has established a dedicated hotline - the Australian Government Bluescope Support Hotline on 1800 107 233 - to channel inquiries from the public and provide them with information about assistance available to affected employees.
Employment and Training Services
Job Services Australia providers will be able to help retrenched workers.
For information call 1800 107 233 or visit deewr.gov.au/jobservicesaustralia
Centrelink can help with career counselling and financial planning.
For information call Centrelink on 1800 107 233 or visit centrelink.gov.au