In a great initiative the Queensland State Government is offering financial incentives to businesses to help get long term unemployed people back into the work force. A grant of up to $20k per year is available for employing new staff, but Queensland's grant "pool" is capped at $27.5m so those who want to take advantage of it should get in quickly!

There is also a Federal Government grant of up to $10k available (https://www.employment.gov.au/wage-subsidies) meaning that $30k is available in government funding to go towards the upfront and ongoing cost of putting on a new employee.

The initial take-away here is to always google "Employment Grants" whenever employing someone as the grants and criteria are always changing and opportunities to access them should not be missed.

In relation to the Queensland Government scheme, there are 2 different types of payments available.

The first is the Employer Support Payments which are for a jobseeker who has been unemployed for 52 weeks or more. The total available here is $15k with $4.5k provided after 4 weeks continual employment and approval of the initial application. From there further payments of $5.25k are made after 26 weeks and then 52 weeks of continual employment and approval of applications for the same.

The second scheme is the Youth Boost Payments which are for previously unemployed jobseekers aged between 15 and 24 years. They must have been unemployed for a minimum of 4 weeks and the total available here is $20k. The payments are on the same conditions and timelines as the Employer Support scheme above and are $6k, $7k and $7k respectively.

Variations are available for part-time employees as well those with a disability, but not for casual, short term or highly paid (over $120k per annum or pro rata for part-time) roles.

There are also some conditions for apprenticeships especially where other funding is already being obtained.

This would appear to be a great opportunity for business and long term unemployed people alike and full details can be accessed at https://backtowork.initiatives.qld.gov.au/