[Sub ID 4756] Youth 4 Youth (Whitelion Incorporated)

Submission ID: 4756
Organisation name: Whitelion Incorporated
State: VIC

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?
The Gig economy delivers job opportunities for young students (YS). A 2015 Upwork report found appr. 4.1 million Australians is doing freelance work, up from 370k from 2014. Airtasker and Sidekicker etc bring supply and demand for labour closer together, creating temporary opportunities with low entry barriers. The gig economy also delivers real time intelligence on local so young people can direct their skills building and training activities to harness these opportunities.

YS lack skills/attributes to engage in the gig economy like:
• Low/no entrepreneurial know how and confidence to find, negotiate and link together multiple gigs to create ongoing financial stability and achieve independence from welfare
• Periods of unemployment, result in forgone work experience and often lead to a deterioration in skills and diminished confidence in the workplace
• Lack of access to capital to purchase equipment for gigs
• Lack of enterprise skills i.e. how to find and win gig opportunities, problem solving and digital literacy

Finding work is an daunting and isolating process for many young people, and even more so in the gig economy where they engage in multiple work places/environments. In this context, problem-solving in a group of peers to find work opportunities is an attractive model to engage traditionally difficult to connect with young people with the labour market.

What is your idea?
The Youth 4 Youth (Y4Y) ground breaking project will connect and empower 100 Young Students (YS) with the task based economy, with task providers who list short/medium & long-term opportunities along with existing gig economy platforms such as Airtasker. It will be underpinned by the following:
• Young people (18-24) find new jobs through engaging with the task economy
• Young people build work portfolios and skills sets that help them live independently from welfare
• Young people are supported by “Navigators” who provide encouragement, failure support and business strategies
• Young people support each other (peer to peer exchange)
• Program co-created with young people

YS can find navigating through the task based economy challenging, especially they are also be limited by lack of required equipment, experience and entrepreneurial skills. To address this Y4Y will be supported by:
• An Enterprise Manager providing oversight of day to day operations
• A Youth Worker who provides personalised support for young people
• Facilitator who delivers group skill development and training in the task based economy
• Navigators (mentors) providing support to encourage productive engagement

Y4Y will explore the portfolio of skills required i.e. foundational, enterprise, technical and career management and the potential to develop these via the youth-led, Hub (self-organised learning environment) approach. Y4Y will test if the widely accepted characteristics of Generation Z (i.e. multi-tasking, entrepreneurial, personal brand managers) can be unlocked via meaningful employment/work opportunities.

The project will also develop a gamified digital platform that will attract young people and draw on their own strengths, abilities and passions. These gamified tools will build networks with other young people and learning modules for personal and skill development. As young people build their own set of skills and job portfolios and we expect many of them will go on to act as mentors, working to empower and support other young people.