[Sub ID 4536] Weaving Opportunities for Work – helping workforce demand for young parents (Lutheran Community Care)

Submission ID: 4536
Organisation name: Lutheran Community Care
Contact name: Mrs Helen Lockwood
State: SA
Contact email: hlockwood@lccare.org.au
Contact number: 0882699390

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Obstacles to workforce participation for young parents and young students at risk of long term unemployment include social isolation, lack of self-confidence and inability to obtain or update skills required to enter the workforce. Research in Northern Adelaide shows these issues are compounded when there is a history of inter-generational unemployment, low levels of education or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (PHIDU 2016).

Family Zone in the City of Salisbury, northern Adelaide, is a community support and service centre delivering a range of kids activities, cultural groups, social and educational classes, financial counselling and a breakfast club which assists over 2,500 people per year. We have seen the difference that Family Zone has made to at-risk children of young parents (McInnes E & Diamond A, 2011) and participants in terms of creating community, building confidence and skill development – all critical steps on the pathway to work. We would like to explore changes in how young parents and young students are provided with the final bridges into work.

What is your idea?
The WOW Trajectory (Weaving Opportunities for Work) is an idea that takes advantage of existing community, family service hubs located in highly disadvantaged areas, such as Family Zone in northern Adelaide, and is designed to extend their services to include targeted, structured opportunities for supported transition to work for young parents and young students. Through Family Zone we have created a familiar and welcoming environment which can act as a safe zone and springboard to work for young parents, students and carers. Additionally, the WOW Trajectory would offer:
• Initial intensive support to meet the immediate needs of young parents (e.g. home visiting program, parent support groups, life skill classes etc) to build familiarity and connections with the family service hub
• Encouragement, training and support in volunteering activities to provide skills in areas of workforce demand
• Mentoring of young parents and young students in volunteering and field placements to make them job ready
• Facilitated assistance through our partner networks (job providers, businesses and agencies) for young parents and students to enter the workforce.
This approach would initially be piloted in Family Zone, then replicated in other northern Adelaide locations with partner organisations, ultimately aiming for national rollout.