[Sub ID 4862] Aged care and disability training (Bridging the Gap Inc.)

Submission ID: 4862
Organisation name: Bridging the Gap Inc.
Contact name: Mrs Penny Crittall
State: WA

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?
It has been well documented that educational underachievement is a significant determinant of unemployment and contributes to long periods on welfare payments and entrenched periods of long term disengagement, intergenerational disadvantage and being further removed from participation in the labour market, education or training. Completing high school (as a minimum) or higher education is becoming increasingly necessary for employment generating a living wage, due to structural economic changes resulting in the loss of many low-skill jobs.

Our project is designed on the fundamental principles of empowerment and self-determination and uses a strengths-based and trauma informed approach to build relationships and networks, provide holistic support, improve outcomes in mental and physical health, link to employment, education and training and provide the skills necessary for living and working. Young students will be at the centre of a collective and collaborative effort to positively progress their wellbeing and quality of life by (re)connecting education/training and skills with individual ambitions and aspirations, to local labour-markets and the needs of employers.

What is your idea?
Our approach will help to mitigate the risk of young students being “stuck” in a cycle of disenchantment, poverty and hardship, where there doesn’t seem to be any opportunity to improve personal circumstances. Having meaningful purpose and structure, is considered critical to ongoing engagement in the project. We will offer difference in how services are delivered to that of the norm, and participation and retention will be maximized as a result.

We will address a number of issues that commonly present in young unemployed students; such as:
– Independent living skills
– Health and wellbeing
– Employability skills

Our local area has a high and continually growing demand for carers and support workers given the significant rise in NDIS, the numbers of aged-care facilities and disability agencies. In addition, there is a significant lack of Aboriginal support workers and carers in the community. Casual employment in these industries is becoming more common, and this offers opportunities for hours that fit with parenting. We would work with agencies delivering these services to establish crèche and training opportunities that support young parents to become qualified in the skills required to secure ongoing employment.

Accredited training would be delivered on-site at an aged care or disability facility, so that exposure to the work environment is maximized and it brings to life the purpose and value of skill development. Strategic and meaningful collaboration is at the heart of the service delivery model which would seek to provide a comprehensive programme of support that yields a high level of social impact by the joining the collective learnings, expertise and benefits of each stakeholder.

Each participant may only initially gain casual or part time employment as this form of employment is dominating the industry, but this is likely to be a stepping stone towards increased working hours or employment permanency in the future.

We aim to have an integrated alignment with health, social support, training, and employment which happens within a blended