#Towerofstrength
April 24, 2017
IAVE – Call For Papers
May 12, 2017

VOLUNTEERING AND THE 2017 FEDERAL BUDGET

From 1 January 2018, the Strong and Resilient Communities Activity will replace the current Strengthening Communities Activity.

$10.0 million will be allocated to Volunteer Grants in 2017-18.

The Government will provide $84.1 million over five years from 2016-17 to consolidate seven working age payments and allowances into a new JobSeeker Payment. Under this measure, there will also be a strengthening of the participation requirement of job seekers. Part of this framework, to apply from the 20 September 2018, will include aligning the participation requirements for recipients aged 30 to 49 with those for recipients under 30. Recipients aged 55 to 59 will only be able to meet half of their participation requirements through volunteering, while recipients aged between 60 and the Age Pension age will have a new activity requirement of 10 hours per fortnight that can be met through volunteering.

There are a range of measures in this budget targeted at transitioning people to work, and providing them with valuable employment skills or work experience, to boost their employability.

While volunteering is a valuable pathway to employment, allowing people to develop personally and professionally, this is not specifically recognised in the Budget.

However there are a number of programs that potentially could combine volunteering with other educational and work experiences. These include the ParentsNext scheme ($263 m over four years) and the Youth Jobs PaTH (aiming to assist 120,000 young Australians into work)

Funding for Community Development Grants Fund, with to date, assured funding of more than $941.2 million to more than 750 projects including more than 450 projects from the 2016 Federal Election.

A $19.6 million investment in community broadcasting in the 2017-18 period via the Community Broadcasting Program.

A $29.6 million investment in 2017-18 that will allocate learning tools and resources, including assistance for community organisations located in metropolitan and regional areas to provide one-on-one tutoring and support to older Australians.

 

Source: Volunteering Australia, The Centre for Volunteering.