[Sub ID 4651] Training plans for students receiving allowances (Eligibility and Participation Policy Branch, Department of Social Services)

Note: This idea will be subject to co-development and funding eligibility outlined in section 5 of the Handbook.

Submission ID: 4651
Organisation name: Department of Social Services

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?
Labour market conditions have contributed to the challenges people face transitioning from study into work, over which young people have little control. Certain vulnerable cohorts of students on income support are at higher risk of failing to complete their studies or having difficulty transitioning into work after completing study. There is a risk that without intervention, these recipients will remain dependent on income support in the long-term. Administrative data from the Department of Human Services showed that as at September 2016, 20.2 per cent of tertiary students exiting Youth Allowance (Student) moved onto a working age payment rather than off payment.

What is your idea?
Trial the use of Education and Training Plans (ETPs) for Youth Allowance (Student) and ABSTUDY recipients aged under 25 years who may have difficulty completing study (within allowable time) or transitioning into work as a randomised control trial.
ETPs would:
• be a compliance tool and used to support the transition into work,
• map recipients’ proposed pathway from study into work,
• identify goals and barriers, potential issues transitioning into work and suggest strategies to overcome barriers,
• outline the recipients’ compulsory activities and relevant study rules,
• include discussion of the benefits of combining work and study,
• monitor recipients’ progress through their course of study, with the aim of improving the likelihood of course completion,
• have a legislative basis for their enforceability and use as a compliance tool.
The trial would run for 18 months and target 3,000 high risk recipients from selected cohorts who are in their last 12 months of study. The trial would also monitor the first 6 months of the participants transition into work. This would allow assessment of whether the use of ETP’s leads to improved outcomes in completing study and transitioning into work.
After establishment of the plan, it is proposed that compliance against the ETP is regularly monitored, in-line with current rules for the participation plans in place for DSP recipients under age 35 years. That is, the recipient would be required to attend quarterly interviews with DHS for 18 months.