Try, Test and Learn Fund
The Minister for Social Services started announcing funded projects from 4 October 2017. More information is available on the DSS website.
The $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund will trial new or innovative approaches to assist people who have the capacity to work, and who are at risk of long-term reliance on welfare, into stable and sustainable employment.
The Fund is not a traditional Government funding round; the submission process has been designed with stakeholder input to be accessible, transparent, collaborative and supportive of innovation.
The Fund is expected to open for ideas several times over multiple years, allowing organisations and individuals additional opportunities to submit proposals. This flexible and iterative policy design process aligns with the Government’s innovation agenda.
Ideas submission for the first tranche was open from 9 December 2016 to 24 February 2017 and we received 389 ideas. These ideas were assessed for eligibility against the criteria outlined in the Try, Test and Learn Fund Handbook, and we are publishing a summary of all eligible ideas on the view ideas page.
A shortlist of the best ideas progressed to co-development through April and May 2017.
In this first tranche, the groups of focus are young carers, young parents and young students at risk of moving to long-term unemployment. Additional supporting material on these initial priority groups can be found on our important information page.
The selection of these initial priority groups was based on evidence from the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare.
This approach allows the Government to review the Australian population as a whole and to identify groups at risk of long-term welfare dependence and disadvantage. This new way of looking at the social security system will help the Government to target funding towards programmes and policies that support people to move into education or employment, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these programmes over time.
To assist the ideas generation process, we held a Policy Hack in Melbourne, on 10 February 2017.
The Hack was an opportunity for our stakeholders to work with us and each other to develop innovative policy ideas that may be funded under the Try, Test and Learn Fund. A summary of all ideas generated at the Hack can be seen on the view ideas page.
We also had a forum for people who wanted to discuss the barriers faced by people in the priority groups, or what works to support people in these circumstances. You can still view the discussion forum.
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