Changes to Youth Allowance for early school leavers

Changes to Youth Allowance for early school leavers

  • Published on Thursday 21 January, 2016
  • 2 min. to read


From 1 January 2016, young Australians aged 15 to 21 who haven’t completed Year 12, will now either need to continue their education or look for work to receive Youth Allowance, under the Australian Government’s Engaging Early School Leavers initiative.

The changes are designed to assist young people to find long-term employment while also recognising that completing Year 12 isn’t an option that suits everyone.

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Under the new scheme, early school leavers will be expected to attain Year 12 or a Certificate III, or they will be required to look for work, which can include a traineeship or apprenticeship, if they are not undertaking either:

  • full-time education, or
  • a combination of education and paid employment for at least 25 hours a week (or 15 hours for principal carer parents and people with a partial work capacity)

The Engaging Early School Leavers initiative is part of the Government’s Youth Employment Strategy, which also includes the Job Commitment Bonus.

Find out more about the Engaging Early School Leavers initiative here.