Consultation period

9 December 2016 - 9:00 am To 24 February 2017 - 5:00 pm

Try, Test and Learn Fund


This consultation has now closed.

The Try, Test and Learn Fund has run two funding tranches. The first funding tranche was open from 9 December 2016 to 24 February 2017. The second funding tranche was open from 22 November 2017 to 28 September 2018.


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 submission process has been designed with stakeholder input to be accessible, transparent, collaborative and supportive of innovation.

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 published 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.

Tranche one projects approved for funding were announced in October and November 2017. More information on these projects is available on the DSS website.

Tranche two was open for grant applications from 22 November 2017 until 28 September 2018. For more information on tranche two, visit the DSS website.

Further information can be found in the Try, Test and Learn Fund Handbook and in the accompanying Questions and Answers.

In tranche one, the groups of focus were 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.

In tranche two, the groups of focus were: older Newstart Allowance recipients; working age carers receiving Carer Payment; at-risk young people on income support; and migrants and refugees on income support. Applications were also welcomed for other groups appropriately justified through evidence. Additional supporting material on tranche two priority groups can be found on the tranche two page.

The selection of these initial priority groups was based on evidence from the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare, and other policy considerations.

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 programs and policies that support people to move into education or employment, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs 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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