Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare
Last week the Coalition Government announced the first stage in a new approach aiming to revolutionise the welfare system by focusing on improving the individual lives of people trapped in it.
This is an issue that is very close to my heart as I represent an area that has quite a large number of people who are disengaged from the workforce with many people who live their lifetimes on welfare.
I think it is very important that we don’t keep following the same model. We cannot continue to simply measure our care about an issue by the amount of money that is spent. Rather, we need to put effort into treating people as individuals and spending time with them to ensure they become engaged in worthwhile activities, whether that is education in the first instance, training or ultimately helping people into the workforce.
The new approach analyses data assembled from a variety of sources and the first wave of this data is presented in a Baseline Valuation Report, a full copy of which can be found on the Department of Social Services website at dss.gov.au/priority-investment-approach
Building better incubators to support local start-ups
Existing and new business incubators can now apply for grants from the Coalition Government to help local start-ups access advice and capital and gain valuable connections.
The $23 million Incubator Support initiative would provide matching grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 for the creation of new incubators in regions or business sectors with strong links to international trade, and for existing, high-performing incubators to expand their services.
This initiative is focused on bringing local businesses together, through an incubator, to increase collaboration and local knowledge. Ultimately it’s about providing the opportunity and tools for local businesses to be competitive, and it puts them and their ideas in the driving seat for potential success.
Incubators can also access matching grants of up to $25,000 to engage experts-in-residence from Australia and overseas. This means start-ups will have access to the top-quality research, managerial and technical talent they need to develop their capabilities and commercialise their ideas.
The Incubator Support initiative is a new element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and is one of the measures under the Coalition Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Applications are now open. To view further information, guidelines and to apply visit: www.business.gov.au/incubator-support
Digital literacy grants for local Schools
Schools across the Parkes electorate can now apply for grants from the Federal Coalition Government to deliver digital literacy programs to students in engaging and innovative ways.
The 2016 Digital Literacy School Grants program is looking for projects that demonstrate new and innovative methods for teaching students how to use and understand digital technology.
It is important all children in our local communities have the skills to use digital technology to ensure they are prepared for the jobs of the future. By encouraging digital literacy from an early age, I hope that we can increase the interest amongst local students in subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and encourage a lifelong engagement in the subjects.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said up to $4 million has been allocated to the program as part of the Australian Government’s $50.6 million commitment through the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) to assist Australian teachers and students to embrace the digital age.
Alongside the Coalition Government’s new Digital Technologies Hub, the grants are also designed to support teachers to implement the digital technologies parts of the national curriculum by providing guidance and support on digital literacy learning and skills in both primary and secondary schools.
Applications close at 5.00pm (AEDT) on Friday, 28 October 2016. Further information on the grants is available at: http://education.gov.au/digital-literacy-school-grants-dlsg