Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


5 MAY 2023


In an astonishing attack of some Australia’s most vulnerable people, the Albanese Government has today confirmed it will abolish the ParentsNext program, which keeps young parents, the overwhelming majority of whom are young women and single parents, connected to the workforce.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, condemned the Albanese Government’s move, highlighting the importance of the program.

“The ParentsNext program is designed to help young parents, particularly mothers, remain connected to the workforce. The program helps participants develop skills, undertake training or work experience, and can help arrange financial support for job preparation skills, training and other work-related expenses,” she said.

“By abolishing ParentsNext, the Albanese Government is punishing some of Australia’s most vulnerable people and will destroy their connection to the workforce. It is disappointing that Labor is giving up on helping these young Australians find work and consigning many of them to a lifetime of welfare.” Senator Cash said.

Senator Cash highlighted that the abolition of ParentsNext demonstrates that the Albanese Government is slowly dismantling the system of mutual obligations, where those who receive unemployment assistance have the obligation to look for a job.

“Prime Minister Albanese does not believe in the concept of mutual obligation. This is the basic principle that if you are receiving assistance, you should be looking for work or preparing for work. The Coalition, in contrast, believes in mutual obligations because we know that the best form of welfare is a job.” Senator Cash said.

“The ParentsNext program went to the heart of what the previous Coalition Government was committed to achieving. We want all Australians to have the chance to participate in the workforce and enjoy the benefits and confidence this brings. As we know – the longer a person spends out of the workforce, the harder it is to return.” Senator Cash said.

“Under the former Coalition Government, between 1 July 2018 and 28 February 2022, 203,986 ParentsNext participants took part in the program, and began to plan for education and employment.” Senator Cash said.