[Sub ID 4749] Paid internships with wrap around supports (Carers NSW)

Submission ID: 4749
Organisation name: Carers NSW
Contact name: Ms Sarah Judd-Lam
State: NSW
Contact email: sarahj@carersnsw.org.au
Contact number: 9280 4744

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Internships are a great opportunity to gain work experience and industry connections that can lead to employment. However, most internships are unpaid, which can be a barrier to people on lower incomes, including young carers, especially as incidental costs such as transport fares, business attire or uniforms and meals may not be covered.

Furthermore, internships can be inflexible, making it difficult to accommodate unexpected or changing carer responsibilities. Young carers receiving Carer Payment are also not permitted to work, study, train or volunteer for more than 25 hours per week including travel time, which can further restrict their ability to participate in an internship.

Carers NSW has acquired this understanding as a result of supporting young carers through the Carers NSW Young Carer program, consultation with young carer leaders and representatives in relation to this submission, and our analysis of data from the 41 young carer respondents to the Carers NSW 2016 Carer Survey.

What is your idea?
Carers NSW would partner with a number of different companies and organisations across a range of sectors and regions to establish time-limited, paid internship opportunities with a view to employment. Organisations and sectors offering flexible types of work would be preferred.

A nominal wage as well as induction, mentoring and training would be provided, as well as structured supervision and performance review. Young carer participants would also have an external contact who would check in with them about the internship arrangement and ensure it is meeting their needs.

The partnering companies and organisations would be encouraged to learn from the young carer about how to increase their own flexibility to attract and maintain young carers as employees. Structured opportunities for young carers to provide feedback on the organisation would be included in their internship program.

The time involved in participating in, and traveling to and from, the internship would not be counted towards the 25 hour cap associated with eligibility for the Carer Payment.