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Supporting young people and parents

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire)

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) provides three elements to help give young people the employability skills employers want and opportunities to gain real work experience, while encouraging employers to give young people a go.

During 2018–19, the program supported over 76,000 young participants through Employability Skills Training, PaTH internships and the Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy.

Employability Skills Training — Prepare

Employability Skills Training (EST) helps young job seekers understand what employers expect in the workplace. It helps them develop the skills and confidence to get job ready through intensive pre-employment training courses.

Participants can develop their skills through two different blocks of targeted training.

  • Block One covers pre-employment skills including communicating at work, planning and organising, working in a digital world, making decisions and identifying and solving problems.
  • Block Two focuses on job preparation, advanced job-hunting skills, career development and interview skills, and provides an opportunity to participate in industry awareness experiences.

In 2018–19, there were 35,575 commencements in PaTH EST in 4,100 courses. Young job seekers who are employed following EST have better job placement to outcome conversion rates (43 per cent) than job seekers of the same age who do not participate in PaTH (41 per cent). Over 41 per cent of job seekers who have participated in EST have obtained a job placement and/or a PaTH internship within six months of undertaking the training.

PaTH internships — Trial

PaTH internships are voluntary structured work experience placements that provide young people with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to an employer. Employers can trial a young person in an internship for between four and 12 weeks to see how they fit into the team and whether they are a good fit for ongoing employment.

Providers, employers and participants co-design each work experience placement to match the young person’s skills, interests and experience with the needs of the business.

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 cover the costs of training and the supervision requirements.

Since the program began in April 2017, it has supported 10,349 internship placements with 4,654 businesses in fields including accommodation and food services, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services. A total of 6,464 internship placements have successfully been completed. Of those, 65 per cent (4,183) resulted in a young person gaining employment following an internship placement. Of internship placements that resulted in employment, 34 per cent were for young people with an unemployment duration of two or more years.

The department’s post-program monitoring indicates that nearly 70 per cent of all participants are employed three months after participating in a PaTH internship.

Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy — Hire

The Youth Bonus wage subsidy is a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to encourage employers to provide ongoing employment opportunities to eligible young job seekers aged 15 to 24 years.

In 2018–19, $82.3 million was spent under the Youth Bonus wage subsidy to support 14,811 young people into ongoing work.

Youth Jobs PaTH leads Janaya to her dream job as a mechanic

 Kelly Nicholson, Janaya Paul and Stefan Kubler

Janaya Paul, a young Indigenous woman from the Gold Coast, is excited to have landed a job as an apprentice mechanic with the help of the Youth Jobs PaTH program.

Janaya successfully completed an Employability Skills Training course with training specialists Novaskill, who worked with her jobactive provider APM to help her secure an internship with Gullwings Mercedes Auto Parts & Repair Specialists.

‘When I started the Employability Skills Training, we started with basic group exercises to get used to each other and then we started on résumés and learned how to do interviews,’ Janaya said.

‘I enjoyed the group activities the most. They were fun little exercises to do and it really brought everyone together as a team and helped us work with each other. I definitely had more confidence after the training. It helped me a lot with the job interview here at Gullwings Mechanics.’

Janaya said doing an internship was a great way to ease into the job.

‘The internship at Gullwings was great. It showed me the ropes before I got myself into it. I could see what it was like, if I was going to enjoy it or not and what the people were like. It was helpful because I got to learn things before I started in the workshop and how it ran, and what happened on a daily basis.’

‘When I found out I got the apprenticeship at Gullwings Mechanics, I was over the moon with excitement and happiness, and I called everyone and told them I got it,’ she said.

Kelly Nicholson and Stefan Kubler, co-owners of Gullwings, were very happy with the way the PaTH program helped them find and hire Janaya. ‘She showed initiative, she wasn’t afraid to try anything,’ Stefan said. ‘If in doubt, she always asked. She has the attributes that we were looking for, she has the skills, she’s fitted in perfectly and she’s moving forward at a great rate of knots which is really impressive.’ Kelly said Youth Jobs PaTH had helped with finding great staff previously.

Janaya said women shouldn’t be put off by the idea of working as a motor mechanic, if they’re interested. ‘Being a female in a male-dominated industry, it can be daunting and overwhelming at the start. But go get it. It’s the best decision I’ve made, and everyone’s accommodating.’

Empowering YOUth Initiatives

Empowering YOUth Initiatives supports new, innovative approaches to help long-term unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 years improve their skills and move towards sustainable employment.

Projects encouraged young people to engage in activities and address the complex issues they faced. Support was provided through a diverse range of activities including outdoor adventure programs, online industry mentor support, BMX riding workshops, and creating art and craft products to sell. All 39 funded projects are now complete as per the original requirements.

Lessons from all the projects will be captured in an evaluation report and will add to the evidence base for youth employment policy and programs. Work on the evaluation is due to be completed by the end of 2019.

Indigenous Apprenticeship Readiness Program

Picture of Brandon

Empowering YOUth Initiatives funded NECA Training and Apprenticeships to deliver its Indigenous Apprenticeship Readiness Program. The program helped young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter regions of New South Wales gain the skills, experience and self-esteem to begin an electrical apprenticeship.

The 16-week program provided nationally accredited training, work experience and personal development, including cultural connection sessions. Graduates had the opportunity to undertake a competitive electrical apprenticeship recruitment process and received ongoing support to transition into an apprenticeship or employment. NECA delivered the program in partnership with NSW TAFE and the Mulga Gidgee Indigenous community organisation, which provided mentoring.

One of the many success stories from the program is Brandon. Brandon is a descendant of the Ngemba and River Country tribes of far western New South Wales and grew up in Western Sydney. He completed Year 10 but then made some poor life decisions which led him to spend over two years in juvenile detention.

Brandon participated in carpentry courses during his time in detention, sparking an interest in the construction industry. His detention liaison officer suggested he consider participating in the Indigenous Apprenticeship Readiness Program. Brandon said, ‘I saw some really successful blackfellas from the previous courses who had cars and real jobs and it made me realise I could do that too.’

Brandon jumped at the opportunity and was able to attend the program through day release. He achieved perfect attendance and good grades, and had an exemplary report from his work experience host, who was keen to have him back as an apprentice. Brandon said, ‘The work experience gave me a chance to show my employer I’m a good worker.’

Brandon completed the program with support from NECA and their program partners. He studied hard to achieve a good result in the final assessment and was successful in the apprenticeship recruitment process. He commenced an apprenticeship with his work experience host in October 2018, just 12 weeks after being in the juvenile detention system.

Brandon was completely released from detention in December 2018 after successfully completing his work probation period. He says the best thing about life now is, ‘I feel safe. I can buy the things that I need. I have a wage.’

Transition to Work

Transition to Work (TtW) is a 12-month intensive service for young people that began in February 2016. It provides intensive pre-employment support to people aged 15 to 21, including Indigenous Australians and early school leavers, to improve their work-readiness and transition into work (including apprenticeships or traineeships) or education.

TtW is performing well. In 2018–19, the service exceeded its targets, helping young people achieve over 9,000 employment and education outcomes.

On 1 January 2018, TtW eligibility was expanded to give more Indigenous young people access to 12 months of intensive assistance when they leave school to engage with work or further education. Indigenous young people now make up over 30 per cent of the caseload.

On 1 July 2018, TtW expanded again to become a demand-driven service, giving more 15 to 21 year-olds access to 12 months of intensive support to prepare for employment or education.

Transition to Work — dare to dream

photo of Billie on her horse

Transition to Work, in partnership with Youth Jobs PaTH and BUSY at Work, helped Billie turn her passion for horses into a career.

When Billie first came into contact with local Transition to Work provider BUSY at Work, she had multiple barriers in every area of her life. She wanted to complete the Certificate III in Rural Operations with Online Horse College but didn’t think she could. Natalie from BUSY at Work sat down with Billie and, working as a team, they navigated the application process.

Billie said, ‘I’ve been with Centrelink ever since I was 14. I’ve done hospitality, social service, all that sort of stuff, and I was never interested in it. I was pretty keen on doing nothing and sitting around with my friends and running amok. One day, I just clicked and I said, “I need to do something.” Natalie from BUSY at Work gave me the opportunity to get this course. She was interested in what I wanted to do.’

As a Transition to Work provider, Natalie was able to set up an internship opportunity for Billie through the Youth Jobs PaTH program with a company called Horses and Humans. This complemented Billie’s Rural Operations course. Natalie provided ongoing support to Billie and her employer during the placement.

Natalie spent time with Billie helping her understand workplace responsibilities, letting her know that she was accountable both to herself and to her employer, but that she had a whole team of people behind her now to help her get through the hard days.

Billie said, ‘Natalie really made it so easy. The support that she gave me throughout, that was insane. She drove me places. She helped me get my licence. If I just had a hard day, I’d call her and she’d just make sure everything was fine. I’m really proud of all my knowledge that I’ve gained. There’s nothing else that makes me feel so calm than working with horses. The feeling afterwards when you’ve succeeded — it’s just the best feeling ever.’

In less than six months from their first meeting, BUSY at Work had helped Billie find secure accommodation, sort out her Centrelink benefits, complete a successful internship and find employment.


ParentsNext helps eligible parents to plan and prepare for employment by the time their youngest child reaches school age. ParentsNext providers work with parents to help them to identify their education and employment goals, develop a pathway to achieve their goals, and participate in an activity relevant to their goals. This includes linking them to related activities and services in the local community. Providers and participants negotiate the choice of activity, and providers must ensure it is tailored to address the participant’s individual needs and circumstances.

ParentsNext aims to:

  • reduce welfare reliance and intergenerational welfare dependency
  • increase female labour force participation
  • help close the gap in Indigenous employment.

Following the success of the trial program that operated from April 2016 in 10 local government areas, the program was rolled out nationally in July 2018.

Qualified for the job

This picture displays Natasha at her place of work

After leaving school and starting a family, Natasha didn’t believe she could launch a career. But with the help of ParentsNext she found a calling in aged care.

Based in Tamworth, Natasha, or Tarsh, worked with her ParentsNext provider to enrol in a Certificate III in Community Services, and was the first in her cohort to complete all modules. ‘I didn’t think I would ever finish anything ever again after school and having my kids. I left school in year 10 and when I had tried to study things would always pop up with the children that held me back,‘ she said. ‘I’m so proud of myself finishing this course.’

After completing a work placement in a local aged care facility, Tarsh was encouraged to apply when positions became available in February this year. Staff and residents at the facility are familiar with Tarsh and her children, who visit regularly. ‘It’s really sweet that my kids are able to go to the facility and visit the residents — they love it and ask to go back all the time. I will definitely be applying for work there,’ she said.

Natalie Linton, ParentsNext program manager with Joblink Plus, said that Tarsh’s give-it-a-go attitude and readiness to work with her provider to discuss options for activities and training were crucial to her success. ‘Tarsh did have some challenges come up whilst completing the course, but Joblink Plus were able to be flexible with her attendance and worked with the trainer to support her to complete the course,’ Natalie explained.

‘Importantly, now that she has obtained a qualification and made professional connections within the aged care community in Tamworth, Tarsh is well on her way to gaining work in a field that needs her skills.’ Tarsh did apply for a part-time position as a personal carer at the aged care facility. She was successful with her application and, after attending an interview, was offered a permanent part-time job.

Supporting Indigenous parents

photo of Mihi Waihape

Mihi Waihape, ParentsNext program manager with Workways in Logan, Queensland, worked closely with Patrice to help her find direction and take steps towards her goal of running a nail salon.

Eighteen per cent of participants referred to ParentsNext are Indigenous. The ParentsNext Intensive Stream provides additional investment, including a participation fund and wage subsidies, in areas with larger numbers of Indigenous parents. Through the program, parents receive assistance to help them identify their education and employment goals, develop a pathway to achieve these goals and connect with appropriate activities and services in their local community.

Mihi said that she wished there had been a ParentsNext program available to her when she was raising her children. She described it as ‘a program that really connects with the community and provides linkages to further services to assist our parents with the right support they need, to address their challenges and barriers, as well as to achieve their education and employment goals’.

Mihi explained how important it was for her, with help from Indigenous community elders, to build a rapport with parents referred to the program. ‘All [parents] need when they come to their appointments is their listening ear, to feel comfortable, so that we then can really understand how we can best support them while they are connected with the program,’ she said.

Patrice said that joining ParentsNext helped her develop a goal and a plan to reach that goal.

‘I actually have a clear mind on what I want to do when my children and myself get older. My goal is to finish my business course and to open my own nail shop from home and go from there,’ she said. ‘I would recommend people to come here to, like, relax and talk about your goals. Coming here has kind of bought me out of my shell.’

Job Jumpstart

The department’s Job Jumpstart website (jobjumpstart.gov.au) has doubled its visitor numbers in the last year as the service continues to support young job seekers, students and workers. The number of unique website visitors increased from 42,464 in 2017–18 to 96,918 in 2018–19. Highlights from the year include working with young people to develop a suite of videos to engage and motivate young job seekers with their job search activities; and launching the Job Search Basics Workbook, which is being used by schools, higher education providers and employment services providers.