Work scheme for struggling parents expands

Dan McCulloch and Sonia Kohlbacher

A training program aimed at boosting employment among welfare-dependant parents is being rolled out across the country following a successful trial.

Parents struggling and receiving welfare payments will from July 2018 be given intensive one-on-one training, education, parenting courses and guidance to secure a job.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said pumping an extra $263 million into the program would help society's most vulnerable become job-ready and find work.

"It is a good example of the way in which our social services programs target areas of greatest need and greatest vulnerability and greatest opportunity to get people, young people in this case, young parents into work," he said on Thursday.

The program, which operates in 10 locations, will be delivered to another 20 areas with high numbers of welfare-dependent indigenous parents.

Participation will be compulsory for eligible parents on the parenting payment.

A less intensive version of the scheme will be rolled out nationally, with roughly 68,000 parents expected to receive assistance each year, approximately 96 per cent of them women.

Participants will receive literacy and numeracy training as well as advice on relevant qualifications.

The program will also provide funds to help disadvantaged parents pay for items that would help them gain employment but which they can't afford, such a licences and uniforms.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said nearly 12,7000 people had gone through the program over the past 12 months, with 10,000 positive educational, employment or community outcomes.

"This is all about the Turnbull government, our basic fundamental principle; the best form of welfare is a job," she said.

"But we also know that we need to have in place programs that ensure that those who do need to move back into the workforce are given the necessary support that they need."