[Sub ID 4731] Tailored interventions to support young students (Acacia Ridge Community Support Inc.)

Submission ID: 4731
Organisation name: Acacia Ridge Community Support Inc.
Contact name: Mr Sebastian Ross-Hagebaum
State: QLD
Contact email: projects@arcsi.org.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?
We know from our service delivery, as well as from the literature and government reports, that many disadvantaged young people do not finish their education, (post-secondary) vocational training or tertiary study. Among them are many under the age of 25 who are in receipt of a student payment and at risk of moving on an unemployment payment for an extended period of time.

The reasons for young people not to complete their education and later to struggle to find and keep sustainable employment, are often complex and varied, and will differ from one individual to the next. However, known risk factors include:
• Parental (often intergenerational) unemployment and low educational attainment
• Family breakdown, domestic violence and unstable housing
• Mental health problems and disability
• Substance abuse and contact with the justice system
• Parenting and caring responsibilities
• No knowledge of career pathways and employment opportunities
• Lack of support networks and inability to navigate the training and employment system
• General lack of hope, motivation and positive outlook on the future
• Membership of a specific disadvantaged equity group (e.g., refugee and migrant, Indigenous, etc.)

Without targeted, age-appropriate interventions long-term welfare dependence is a real risk for this cohort, leading to poor life outcomes in general.

What is your idea?
We propose to provide person-centred, multifaceted support to young people to achieve transformational behavioural change towards developing aspirations, identifying career pathways and accessing employment opportunities.

Delivered from a youth-friendly community hub, we will engage young people individually (case management) and in groups (facilitated and self-guided) to identify strengths, skills and interests, and support needs; develop career pathways; and provide wellbeing, confidence and skills building activities.

Young people will access the service via direct referral from Centrelink, through engagement of education and training providers, and by self-referral.

Based on ongoing assessments of needs, aspirations and job readiness, we will provide a range of targeted interventions appropriate to each young person’s circumstance, including:
• Physical and mental wellbeing activities; confidence building activities; motivation and aspiration development
• Meaningful social activities to develop a network of peers (e.g., board games, table tennis, gaming, etc.)
• Career exploration, including employer site visits and guest speakers; mentoring from professionals in a chosen industry
• Job readiness workshops, job search and application assistance and post-placement support
• Skills development in a social enterprise environment
• Assistance with self-employment and small-business development

The project will develop a smartphone app to engage young people and reinforce project interventions to achieve attitudinal change and outcomes.