Labour market conditions for young people have improved in recent times, however many continue to encounter difficulties when trying to secure work, and can face longer spells of unemployment.
The department administers a number of programs, services and initiatives to help young people into work. These include the Youth Jobs PaTH program and the Transition to Work service.
Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire)
Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) provides three elements to help give young people:
- the employability skills that employers want
- opportunities for work experience, and
- support to move from welfare to work.
To 30 June 2018, there have been 45,117 participants in at least one Employability Skills Training activity, PaTH internship or Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy.
Working with the AAoA to reduce youth unemployment and projected workforce shortages
Ba See came to Australia as a refugee from Burma when he was 11. As he grew older, his lack of work experience prevented him from finding a job. Now he is happy working as an apprentice chef at the Mantra St Kilda Road Hotel.
The tourism sector is projected to increase by around 100,000 jobs by 2022. There are about 130,000 young people in Australia, right now, who need a job.
The department’s Employer Mobilisation Branch is working with the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) to ensure that unemployed young people can benefit from this growth and begin a career in hospitality.
With a changing labour market, projected skills gaps and workforce shortages, the accommodation industry has focused on attracting younger workers. It encourages young people to consider hospitality as a career opportunity, not just a stepping-stone or holiday job. The AAoA Academy delivers industry-designed pre-employment programs with both member and non-member hotel groups to help job seekers like Ba See find and stay in work.
The Australian Government is working with the AAoA Academy to help raise awareness of employment services among major hotel groups, and to encourage them to make their entry-level vacancies available to unemployed jobseekers.
A tailored pathway has also been developed combining AAoA Academy services – pre-screening, training and placement support – with Youth Jobs PaTH – Employability Skills Training, internships and wage subsidies. In consultation with the AAoA and industry leaders, we are building a framework of support for line managers who will supervise job seekers for the duration of their internship and their entry into ongoing employment. This pathway has drawn heavily on each hotel group’s confidence in the AAoA Academy and industry designed training packages.
Prepare: Employability Skills Training
Employability Skills Training (EST) helps young people develop their skills and confidence through intensive pre-employment training.
Young people undertaking EST enhance their work readiness through two different blocks of targeted training.
- The first provides young people with pre-employment skills including communicating at work, working in a digital world and how to identify and solve problems.
- The second training block focuses on advanced job searching skills, career development, interview skills and the opportunity to participate in industry awareness experiences, which provide insights into the tasks and duties of different industries.
In the past year, EST has equipped more than 20,000 young people to meet the expectations of employers in both the recruitment process and as new employees in the workplace. More than 30 per cent of these young people successfully moved onto a job or internship within six months of completing EST.
Youth Jobs PaTH helped Rebecca secure a job
After eight months of unemployment, Youth Jobs PaTH paved the way for 20-year-old Rebecca from Mudgee, New South Wales, towards a job.
Rebecca had tried hard to find a job but her lack of experience had held her back. ‘I was applying but no one was really interested’.
Rebecca was encouraged to undertake Employability Skills Training (EST) to equip her with the confidence and employability skills needed to be successful.
‘I did EST to improve my chances of getting a job. The training taught me how to dress, how to act, how to ask the right sorts of questions. It was more practical.’
During the training, Rebecca was offered an internship at Café 89. Despite not having worked in a café before, Rebecca felt the training had given her the confidence to take it on. ‘I decided I’d like to give it a try,’ she said.
It turned out to be a good decision. After a four-week internship, Rebecca was offered a job – one that she loves.
Café 89 owner, Joanne, also found real value in the training Rebecca had received and the opportunity to trial Rebecca before hiring her.
‘EST gave Rebecca an edge,’ Joanne said. ‘She had obviously done some training in how to meet and greet people, how to interview, and just how to have a positive interaction in the workplace. It gave her a really big step up.
’During her internship I was able to see if she was going to be the right fit. It reassured me that, yes, I’ve employed the right person and she’ll stay for a long time!’
Rebecca has been at Café 89 for over six months, and is a valued member of the team. Joanne recommends the Youth Jobs PaTH program to other small businesses, adding ‘it’s a good way to train them up before you decide if they’re right for the role’.
PaTH internships give young people the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to an employer in a structured and supervised work experience placement. Employers can trial a young person in an internship for between four and 12 weeks to see how they fit into the team, and if they are suitable for ongoing employment. Each internship is co-designed by the business, young person and their employment services provider. This matches the young person’s skills, interests and experience and ensures the business’ needs are met.
Young people who participate in an internship receive $200 a fortnight as an incentive payment on top of their income support. Host businesses receive $1,000 (GST inclusive) to help with the costs of hosting an internship.
Since the program began in April 2017, 6,048 internship placements have commenced with 2,922 businesses in fields including accommodation and food services, and retail trade. A total of 3,484 young people have successfully completed their internships and of those, 2,332 gained employment following the program.
Hire: Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy
Under jobactive and Transition to Work (TtW), employment services providers deliver and manage the Youth Bonus wage subsidy (the Hire element of PaTH). The subsidy provides a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to help businesses hire unemployed young people 15 to 24 years of age. From 1 July 2017, 25,439 Youth Bonus wage subsidy agreements have been made.
Aloft Hotel on the PaTH to becoming a leading employer of young people
In August 2017, the Aloft Hotel in Perth hosted the Prime Minister and Minister Cash as they acknowledged the Australian Hotels Association’s commitment to taking on 10,000 interns nationally.
In the following weeks, the department helped Aloft address its recruitment needs by linking the business to a local training provider, Employability Skills Training Skill Hire, which designs its training to meet the specific requirements of Australian Hotel Association members. Aloft took on two interns as food and beverage attendants in September, and by December had employed them both with the help of a Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy agreement, negotiated with jobactive provider Communicare.
The business has developed a strong, ongoing relationship with Communicare, which has led to more internships and job placements. The experience shows that PaTH is a powerful tool that helps employers connect with a pool of young, motivated job seekers who are willing to prove themselves in the workplace.
Empowering YOUth Initiatives
Empowering YOUth Initiatives aim to improve outcomes for people aged 15 to 24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment, and to prevent long-term welfare dependency. Projects operate for up to two years and are diverse, using a variety of approaches to address the barriers young people face to gaining and sustaining employment. They include initiatives such as work experience, outdoor adventure therapy, digital platforms and social enterprises.
The majority of round one initiatives have finished. Learnings captured though the evaluation and through Innovation in Youth Employment Services forums will inform ongoing service delivery and future employment policy design for young people. At the forums, employment services providers shared learnings—both successes and failures—and created local links.
United Synergies gets Buzzing
United Synergies received funding under round one of Empowering YOUth Initiatives to deliver the Buzzing initiative—an eight-week intensive program that is helping young people improve their employability for the hospitality industry.
It began in June 2016 and finished in April 2018 and gave young people in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland real life hospitality experience. This included through a mix of tools such as a custom-made interactive gamification app, social media and hands-on activities.
Young people accessed online accredited training units covering food hygiene and safety, and barista operations. As part of the practical requirements for these units, hands-on experience was provided with local coffee roasters, cafes and restaurants.
Lily, who is 16, was referred to Buzzing by her mother. Lily had recently disengaged from school and was starting to engage in risk taking with her peer group. She said she wanted to "better herself" and was looking to be a part of something positive. She engaged well in the course and showed a keen interest in making coffee. Because of her hard work and enthusiasm, Lily obtained employment through her work experience placement in a café. She has maintained meaningful employment and is a valuable member of the café’s team.
Eli is 17 years old and had previously been supported by United Synergies during his involvement with youth justice. It was during one of these discussions that Eli expressed an interest in becoming a barista. He undertook the Buzzing course and started to interact with staff and peers. Eli was invited to volunteer at community events with the coffee cart, and he displayed good initiative on these days. During his work experience, staff noticed that Eli was naturally supporting other participants. He was offered the role of student mentor for the next group of Buzzing students, and jumped at the opportunity. Eli continued to attend voluntarily every Thursday for many weeks, providing hands on support and advice to his peers. His confidence grew with his new responsibilities, and he has since gained meaningful employment.
Transition to work
Transition to Work (TtW) is a 12-month intensive service that began in February 2016. It provides intensive, pre-employment support to improve the work readiness of young people aged 15 to 21, and helps them into work (including apprenticeships or traineeships) or education.
TtW performance measures were increased in 2017 due to the strong performance of participants against the 2016–17 targets.
The department’s Job Jumpstart website, jobjumpstart.gov.au, was developed to fill a gap in the availability of employment planning and job search self-help advice for young people. The website is also proving to be a useful resource for job seekers, career advisers, employment consultants, youth workers and parents. The department worked closely with young people to design the website and develop content which reflects what they want to know about transitioning from study to work. This ethos of collaboration with young people continues as we develop new content for the site such as a suite of videos and photos.
The department commenced the ParentsNext initiative on 4 April 2016 and established 31 projects across 10 local government areas. The program helps parents plan and prepare for employment while caring for young children, and aims to increase their employment prospects by the time their children start school. It provides personalised assistance to improve work readiness in a way that first and foremost recognises their role as a parent.
Over the course of 2017–18, the Department of Human Services referred 24,160 parents to project providers. Providers helped these parents to identify education and employment goals, develop a participation plan and access activities. Parents have become involved in more than 48,900 activities that meet their individual needs. This includes more than 9,700 undertaking education and training, almost 7,600 participating in community services such as parenting courses or counselling, and over 2,770 moving into employment.
The highest proportion of participants in the ParentsNext program are women at around 96 per cent. The program is addressing the Government’s strategy to increase women’s workforce participation by helping and connecting mothers of all ages to vital services.
ParentsNext national rollout
From 1 July 2018, the ParentsNext program will be expanded nationally to all employment regions. This will enable around 68,000 parents to benefit from the program each year. Approximately 96 per cent of these will be women and about 10,000 will be Indigenous. The expanded ParentsNext will be delivered as an intensive and targeted stream. Both will provide parents with connections to a wide range of services, which could include pre-employment training, mentoring, work experience and job opportunities. The intensive stream will provide services in 30 locations—10 where the program is currently delivered and a further 20 where there is a high proportion of Indigenous Parenting Payment recipients. The targeted stream will provide services in the remainder of the 51 employment regions (excluding remote areas).
Jennifer is a young mum aged 20 years old with one child
After becoming a mum, Jennifer’s sole focus has been raising her son, but as he grew a bit older, she found herself thinking about returning to work. She wanted to secure a full-time job so that she could become financially independent. But she wasn’t sure what type of work she was interested in.
She received a call from the Department of Human Services about the ParentsNext program, identifying that she was eligible and referring her to a provider in her local area.
At her first appointment, Jennifer talked to her ParentsNext provider about her goal to find full-time work. She explained that she didn’t really know what she wanted to do, and that she didn’t have a driver’s licence which was a requirement for some of the jobs she was interested in.
After listening to her goals and concerns, her ParentsNext caseworker helped Jennifer explore employment opportunities and arranged for her to get the supervised driving hours that she needed for her provisional driving test.
Jennifer went on to secure a casual shop assistant position for the Christmas period and through this experience found that she enjoyed working in retail.
"I realised that I love working with people. In retail you get to meet and talk to lots of interesting people," Jennifer said. "My goal now is to secure a full-time job in a role where I get to use my people and communication skills."
Audi Women in Automotive project
Mothers and women who have faced long-term unemployment are gearing up to become automotive experts, thanks to a new and innovative partnership between a ParentsNext provider and Audi Australia. Audi’s eight-week ‘Women in Automotive’ pilot program saw nine women trained, provided with a statement of attainment, and ready to enter the workforce upon their graduation.
This eight-week program consisted of:
- seven theory modules delivered by TAFE which introduced participants into the automotive industry
- vocational placements across four Audi dealerships which provided participants with the ability to work hands on in sales, administration, parts and post-sale support, and
- three weeks of optional intensive vocational placement.
‘The program provides an opportunity for our ParentsNext participants to learn skills which will equip them for employment, and gives them the chance to get into a non-traditional industry for women’, Program Manager Lucy said. ‘The program addresses unemployment, as well as a lack of women working in the automotive field, and was a perfect fit for the ParentsNext objective of reducing employment barriers for participants.
‘Audi identified that only two per cent of the global automotive workforce is female, and they want to include more women in their team. We think it’s a fantastic opportunity to build the confidence, work skills and knowledge of the women we engage with at ParentsNext,’ Lucy explained.
Each week, participants are required to attend two half-day theoretical classes at TAFE where they cover different units, from effective communication in the workplace, to complying with legal requirements in the automotive industry. On top of this, they receive on-the-job experience at various Audi dealerships in the wider Sydney area. At the conclusion of the course, the women have a range of skills including sales, automotive parts, administrative and call centre experience.
As for whether the women are enjoying the course, Lucy says they’re all nearly experts. ‘They are getting so much out of the course. Their confidence has improved and they have a positive outlook for the future. A lot of the women see themselves as future salespeople in the automotive industry’, Lucy says.
Three of the participants have been offered employment with a car dealership group, and another two have enrolled to continue their study.
Pilot program Launch into Work
The department implemented a new pilot program during the year, Launch into Work, which is helping to bridge the gap to employment for women.
The program works with employers to co-design projects that will prepare job seekers for specific roles within the employing organisation. All projects include targeted training, work experience, mentoring and a commitment from the employer to hiring all participants who successfully complete a pre-employment project.
Under the program, the department works with employers that provide training, work experience and mentoring to support job seekers to increase their skills, confidence and experience, and to find and stay in work.
It aims to provide employment opportunities for job seekers who are unlikely to be successful at gaining an interview or employment through traditional recruitment methods. Employers are required to commit to employing suitable project participants who successfully complete a pre-employment project.
The program continues to achieve positive employment outcomes for job seekers and supports Australia’s G20 goal to reduce the gender gap in women’s workforce participation by 25 per cent by 2025.
The first Launch into Work project with Lendlease Engineering concluded in October 2017.
The Launch into Work Women in Construction project delivered tailored accredited and non-accredited training, as well as practical work experience to prepare participants for a full-time civil construction apprenticeship. Whitelion provided mentoring and pastoral care throughout the project. It also supported participants as they transitioned into employment to ensure they had access to the support they needed to achieve positive employment outcomes. All 10 project participants successfully completed the project and transitioned into employment.
Pilot program creating employment pathways for young refugees
The Launch into Work pilot program is demonstrating how collaboration between employers, registered training organisations, employment services providers and the department can bridge the gap to employment for young refugee job seekers.
Adelaide based social enterprise, Miss Mysa Events, partnered with diversity and inclusion specialists Community Corporate, to deliver a project that would prepare refugee job seekers for employment as events and program assistants.
During the six-week project, participants completed accredited and non-accredited training to build their understanding of the Australian workplace and the hospitality sector. Work experience undertaken at events throughout Adelaide further supported participants to develop the confidence and skills required for a career in the hospitality and events sector.
Mentoring is a core component of Launch into Work. During this project, Community Corporate mentored participants throughout the project and will continue to support the new employees during their first six months of employment to ensure a seamless transition into the workplace.
Launch into Work participant Mimona Abdalla strives to be a leader for African youth in her community. Born in South Sudan, she migrated to Australia at a young age and has since made valuable contributions to her local community by volunteering at events and festivals. The Launch into Work project has enabled Mimona to hone her event management skills and continue to be a positive role model for youth in the community. "What I like about this program was that we were all refugees in the group. We could discuss our cultures and feel comfortable doing this."
All seven participants who completed Launch into Work have now been offered employment with Miss Mysa Events.