[Sub ID 4588] Job Seeking and Keeping Program (Youth Plus Foundation)

Submission ID: 4588
Organisation name: Youth Plus Foundation
Contact name: Ms Megan Hall
State: QLD
Contact email: megan.hall@youthplus.edu.au
Contact number: 0428157561

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

What need or issue are you trying to address?
In accordance with a recent report by the OECD, young Australians who drop out of mainstream education are at greater risk of long-term unemployment compared to other young people. These young people often have complex backgrounds including experiences of trauma and abuse, alcohol and drug misuse, are young parents or may provide a caring role within their families.

These young people are likely to lack the skills and resources needed to secure and maintain employment. That is, they struggle when it comes to job seeking and keeping. Specifically, these young people lack the necessary skills to secure employment such as job searching skills, application skills, and presentation skills. They also lack the personal resources (e.g., self-regulation skills, stress management skills) needed to manage the challenges that are commonplace in employment.

As such, we propose to develop job seeking and keeping skills in young people who have disengaged from mainstream education. We intend to deliver this project using novel, evidence-based initiatives. Specifically, we propose to embed our job seeking and keeping skills program within an activity-based learning paradigm. Through participating in this project we expect these young people will secure employment and persist in these roles overtime.

What is your idea?
Our idea involves the delivery of an 8-week program that addresses two factors: job seeking and job keeping. We propose to address these factors through a job-readiness and a self-empowerment program.

The job-readiness component of the program includes a structured workshop series aimed at addressing employability and would likely include topics such as finding employment opportunities, preparing job applications, and how to build a career network.

The self-empowerment component of the program would involve the provision of a group-based psychological intervention – namely, a mindfulness-based intervention. Such interventions have been shown to be effective for developing short- and long-term self-regulation, well-being, and stress management.

These two components would be delivered using an activity-based learning (ABL) paradigm. Such paradigms are an effective way of encouraging and maintaining engagement in tasks, as well as exposing individuals to novel, real-world experiences. Importantly, ABL approaches are interactive and promote participation through hands-on activities.

We propose to deliver this idea as a pilot with two Youth+ Flexible Learning Centers (schools) in South East Queensland. The programs would be delivered by Youth+ centre staff with the support of undergraduate students and academics from the Australian Catholic University.