[Sub ID 4643] Non-vocational support during education (Mission Australia)

Submission ID: 4643
Organisation name: Mission Australia
Contact email: tenders@missionaustralia.com.au

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

What need or issue are you trying to address?
There is a need to support young people to successfully complete qualifications. Research shows that completing a Certificate III qualification and above leads to higher rates of social inclusion and improved education and employment outcomes in the long term (Mavromaras et al. 2012).

The most disadvantaged young people experiencing complex issues face additional barriers to completing post-school training. Several research studies have concluded that disadvantaged young people may require additional supports outside the domains of education and employment (Griffin & Beddie [eds] 2011b).

Without non-vocational support, factors such as financial or housing instability, poor physical or mental health, substance misuse, family breakdown, issues with childcare access or transport can lead to periods of disengagement with study. Once a young person falls behind in their studies they can find it increasingly difficult to re-engage.

Although support is offered by some training organisations it is often not intensive enough to support this cohort. Additionally, with the increase in non-traditional modes of learning such as online or correspondence, many students do not attend a campus regularly and are not able to access these services.

What is your idea?
This idea aims to increase study completion rates for young people facing multiple barriers to participation in post-school education, while helping them to develop increased life-skills and resilience.

Young people at risk of struggling to maintain engagement with education would be identified on enrolment and provided with non-vocational support.

An early intervention two-tiered support program providing ongoing regular contact by an Education Support Worker (ESW) and intensive support as required will allow issues to be identified and addressed preventing dis-engagement and supporting young people to make a smooth transition into and out of study.

Tier One: A relationship would be established with the ESW and regular contact maintained for the duration of their studies. Targeted group sessions responding to needs of students would provide an opportunity for skill development as well as interaction with peers and development of a support network. Sessions could include computer literacy, study skills, life skills or job readiness.

Tier Two: Intensive individualised support would be offered on commencement and completion of study to support smooth transitions. Additional intensive support would be provided to address barriers to participation as they arise including access to mainstream services, referral to specialist services, advocacy and provision of targeted brokerage.