[Sub ID 4772] FSG Social Enterprises for young people (FSG Australia)

Submission ID: 4772
Organisation name: FSG Australia
Contact name: Mr Nye Stewart
State: QLD
Contact email: nyes@fsg.org.au

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
DSS and Carers Australia suggests young parents and young carers make up a significant portion of the population of young people disengaged from education and work, these young people are often unidentified and hidden in the community. Research literature indicates young parents and carers experience a range social and health issues, impacting workforce participation, at a higher incidence than other young people. These areas are such as education, mental and physical health, poverty and psychosocial development. Children of young parents are more likely to experience disadvantage and become young parents themselves. Young students experience a range of social and health barriers to completing study and maintaining employment.

The current job market in Australia is generally not buoyant for young people. Australia is facing some of the highest youth unemployment and underemployment rates in recent times. Young people interviewed from priority groups identified issues that affect workforce capacity and participation. These include; lack of education, workplace inflexibility; inability to network and engage with employers; social and physical health barriers; limited social and professional support; accessible transport; limited time; limited workplace experience; awareness of rights and workplace norms; cultural differences and complexity accessing centerlink and other support.

What is your idea?
Dynamic, engaging and youth focused social enterprises across SE Qld and Nth NSW offering flexible work and education environments, and small business/cottage industry opportunities for young people in identified priority groups. FSG will provide spaces, equipment, transport and opportunities for young participants to start their micro/cottage industry business. Social enterprises offer a creche service for young parents to bring children to work. FSG staffing services provide support workers to relieve young carers so they may attend work, training and support groups knowing that their loved one is well cared for at home or in community. FSG facilitate wrap around social supports and advocacy, and peer & community support groups operate for young people relevant to their life situation addressing complex barriers.

Business mentors and career development coaches facilitate workshops, training and work experience opportunities and facilitate sustainable employment and income opportunities. Social enterprises grow to form a micro economy of interconnected businesses becoming self-funding over 2 years. Businesses continue to provide social support, work, training, franchising opportunities and income to vulnerable young people into the future. Strategies are developed and tested that may inform best practice and policy decisions.