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Over-subscribed Wage Connect jobs program put on hold

A $25 million jobs program that aimed to help unemployed Australians get work has been put "on hold" for a year, Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker said today.

The Wage Connect program put aside $25 million to pay employers to offer jobs to long-term unemployed job seekers, but demand has outstripped the budgeted funds available.

It is understood the program is already over-subscribed, and if the current rate of subscription continued, it could blow the program's budget by an extra $20 million by the end of the financial year.

Due to the demand, Mr Hartsuyker said the program had to be put on hold because there was no extra money to fund the subsidy for those wanting it.

He said it was the second time in a year the program was oversubscribed, and has "been put on hold due to Labor mismanagement".

"It let down job seekers, and employers who would have given them a chance," he said.

"The previous government didn't take the opportunity to learn from its mistakes and better target the programme. The Coalition is now left to pick up the pieces."

Mr Hartsuyker said in the interim, the Coalition would be reviewing the subsidy and looking at ways to improve and ensure the program's "long-term sustainability".

Topics:  cowper, luke hartsuyker, unemployment, wage connect

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