[Sub ID 4637] Charcoal Lane outreach (Mission Australia)

Submission ID: 4637
Organisation name: Mission Australia
State: NSW
Contact email: tenders@missionaustralia.com.au

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?
Mission Australia’s Indigenous Aspirations Report (drawn from Youth Survey 2013 data) concluded that for young people, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the perceptions of locally available education, training and employment opportunities appear to play a role in educational and workforce engagement. If young people are able to see that vocational and educational opportunities are available to them locally and have an understanding of how to access these opportunities, they informed development of realistic aspirations and resultant increase in education, training and workforce participation is more likely to occur.

Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2015 results showed that 30% of the Indigenous young people surveyed had spent time away from home because they felt they couldn’t go back (as opposed to 12% non-Indigenous young people) which adds additional challenges and barriers for a young person attempting to finish school or enter employment.

Through Charcoal Lane’s experience and work with Indigenous young people in Melbourne metro and northern suburbs, we know there is a strong desire and need for Indigenous young people to strengthen their community connections and cultural identity, as well as connect with peer leaders to help guide and build capacity to sustainable workforce participation.

What is your idea?
Charcoal Lane, a social enterprise restaurant operated by Mission Australia, provides guidance and opportunity to Indigenous young people. The program creates a skilled workforce for the hospitality industry, providing leadership and mentoring to help trainees gain sustainable employment and long-term independence.

Leveraging existing relationships with schools and the community, Charcoal Lane proposes to maintain its core training and employment program and enhance its offering by implementing a vocational outreach program providing Indigenous young people at risk of unemployment in metro/northern Melbourne with pathways to employment beyond hospitality. The program would offer individualised strengths-based counselling, cultural connections and peer support, to identify employment or study opportunities and motivation to persevere.

Each participant will be offered one-on-one support from our Charcoal Lane Support Worker on an individually tailored case plan to:
• Continue study (at school, TAFE or apprenticeship)
• Enter training and employment with Charcoal Lane for a period of six months
• Create pathway to employment in another field (referrals to Mission Australia’s network of employment partners)

Charcoal Lane would also convene culturally appropriate events for the participants to engage with elders, leaders, mentors and peers in Melbourne’s Indigenous community. These can be in the form of BBQs, group gatherings and meetings.