[Sub ID 4754] Economic Resilience Action Plan (Good Shepherd Microfinance)

Submission ID: 4754
Organisation name: Good Shepherd Microfinance
Contact name: Mr Peter McNamara
State: VIC
Contact email: PMcNamara@gsmicrofinance.org.au
Contact number: 94959635

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

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young parents and carers on welfare can face multiple barriers to participating fully in education, training and employment. This can leave them feeling isolated and lacking hope, compromising their wellbeing and ability to realise their full potential. In particular, a lack of sustained employment and subsequent low incomes, can reduce financial resilience, exacerbate inter-generational welfare dependency and poorer life outcomes for these people, their families and the communities they live in.

These ‘wicked’ problems require a holistic, coordinated and cross-sectoral policy response across the local community, collaborating to understand systemic challenges, explore inter-relationships amongst causal factors, and find new ways to work together to implement solutions. For example, a collaborative action could be the MBA, Design and Marketing classes at a local university could collaborate with TAFE to support a group of young mothers studying catering. Together they would develop viable business plans, design a pop-up shop and the furniture it needs, and set it up at a corporate office, selling lunch and tea to workers. TAFE classes and the university support could be offered at the maternal health centre, with childcare offered so that mothers can complete their education, socialise with others, be mentored by corporate executives and grow their professional networks.

What is your idea?
Connecting people with local actors who will work with them to create targeted opportunities to build their resilience and engage them in economic participation, can lift hope, improve wellbeing and socio-economic status for youth, their families and local communities. We propose co-designing and implementing a place-based Economic Resilience Action Plan (ERAP) program in 4 selected sites across NSW, Tasmania, South Australia, Tasmania to connect young users with organisations from government, business, academia and civil society, to collaboratively explore relevant barriers/enablers and targeted, holistic solutions to boost their economic resilience and workforce participation.

Place-based ERAPs contain specific actions which participating organisations commit to implement over a 2-year period, across NSW, Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia, encompassing economic resilience, workforce readiness, workforce participation and productivity for targeted youth. These enabling areas respond to identified key risks1 for young people, including interrupted education/training; subject choice/progression; low capability, motivation and support; low access, awareness and networks; managing money; self-employment; low workplace flexibility, diversity and progression.

Actions contained in ERAPs will be designed to encourage the behaviours, pathways and/or systems required to build individual financial/economic capabilities, workforce-readiness, ability to find and retain stable employment, and sustain productivity at work within the local sites, resulting in significant numbers of people moving towards economic independence.