The Australian government announced a new initiative to reduce welfare dependency among young parents, by helping them to improve their work readiness or education prospects.

In a media release, Social Services Minister Dan Tehan and Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said $4 million will be provided to the Brave Foundation to run an innovative trial to help young parents.

The trial will be run in Darwin, Melbourne and Geelong, Wyong, Newcastle, greater Hobart, and greater Brisbane. Up to 350 teenage mums and dads will be offered one-on-one support to help them navigate early parenthood and be better prepared to return to education or find a job, such as driving lessons or training.

According to the statement, young parents are more likely to experience disrupted education, as well as barriers to finding and keeping a job, which can lead to long-term welfare dependency. 79 per cent of young parents aged 18 or under who were receiving a Parenting Payment are expected to be receiving income support payments in a decade.

The trial is funded under the Turnbull Government’s $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund that is targeting welfare dependency in at-risk groups.

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