The House Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services has tabled its interim report into ParentsNext, and recommended that the program be abolished.

The Committee’s unanimous report makes 30 recommendations. Key recommendations include that ParentsNext be abolished at the end of its current contract and replaced with a pre-vocational service focused on building participants’ capacity and helping them realise their individual goals, and which truly values parenting. The service must be co-designed with people who will be most impacted by the new service.

Most of the Committee’s other recommendations relate to design and implementation of the new service, including draft eligibility and participation requirements, compliance and enforcement; commissioning and service delivery; funding and resources; skills and training requirements; and supporting innovation, experimentation, and robust, data-driven evaluation.

To allow for the co-design and implementation of the new service short contract extensions will be required. In the meantime, the Committee has called for a transition plan to be released by the Government by this July, outlining changes that can be implemented as soon as possible, to address serious concerns identified and provide ParentsNext participants with a more positive and supportive experience before the new service is in place.

Access the interim report here.

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