This audit would assess the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s effectiveness in managing wage subsidies across a number of employment programs.

Wage subsidies provide financial incentives to Australian businesses to hire eligible individuals in an ongoing job. The subsidies are a component of key employment initiatives, including jobactive, Youth Jobs PaTH, Restart and Closing the Gap employment services. The budget for wage subsidies was $297 million in 2017–18. More than 46,000 people were assisted into work through wage subsidies in the first six months of 2019. Wage subsidies are a key component of the Australian Government’s economic support package designed to support businesses and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.