[Sub ID 4819] Youth IT Career pathways program (Brendan Fitzgerald)

Submission ID: 4819
Organisation name: Infoxchange
Contact name: Mr Brendan Fitzgerald
State: VIC
Contact email: bfitzgerald@infoxchange.org
Contact number: 0417397844

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?
Youth (aged 15-24) unemployment is a particularly stubborn problem, reaching as high as 22.4% in some Australian communities. The causes include a persistently non-buoyant labor market for young people post Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the falling away of the industrial economy and a downturn in the number of entry-level positions and apprenticeships available, the casualisation of the workforce, increased interest in the ‘gig economy’, automation and the reality that older employees are not transitioning to retirement at the same rate as pre-GFC.

While this impacts all young job seekers, unsurprisingly, the impact is felt the greatest by those young people considered at risk of or already experiencing long-term unemployment. In areas such as Geelong (SA4) the youth unemployment rate for in December 2016 was 9.3%. Regional Australia faces some unique and difficult challenges in relation to youth unemployment that requires a multi-faceted and sustained response – especially in relation to rural and outback employment where it rises to an astonishing 43% in Mt Isa.

Our response has been to trial an end-to-end program https://www.infoxchange.org/au/community-programs/youth-it-careers which has uncovered needs that require further innovation.

What is your idea?
“The Transfer”

Program aims:

  1. To design and test how to help young people understand what transferable and employable skills they have already begun to cultivate
  2. To develop the means for them to actively engage with industry to demonstrate employability using those skills

The objective is to test and innovate on the following assumptions:

  1. Young people without an ‘education’ may not recognise existing skills which can be developed further for employment (e.g. most are highly proficient in the use of social media. How can this be an advantage?)
  2. Career paths and job roles are often defined by their title and not the skills required to perform the job and therefore the young people may they be unaware that the have some of the skills required. Conversely industry may not recognise how they could benefit from this.
  3. Allows the youth to build and grow a diverse set of skills through pathway programs that are end-to-end and include training, employment search and placement processes.
  4. Test the role technology could play in the employment and recruitment process. Could this reduce disadvantage?

This idea would need to work alongside existing programs and include the development of a communications platform to build online connectivity between young people in the program/s identified and industry. A test cohort would be required in a set location with a range of programs