[Sub ID 4867] Employment Ambassadors (Brotherhood of St Laurence)

Submission ID: 4867
Organisation name: Brotherhood of St Laurence
Contact name: Ms Diana Amato
State: VIC
Contact email: diana.amato@bsl.org.au
Contact number: 0394225618

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?
Newly arrived young people face a number of crucial transition points: their arrival in a new country; the transition to school and the transition from school to work. Transitions are periods of risk and vulnerability and, without early intervention and adequate support, life chances can be negatively affected. All of this whist also learning a new language and culture and navigating a complex and unfamiliar service system. Furthermore, the needs of this group of young people are often overlooked as they are a sub-group of both the broader youth and settlement sectors. Hence, employment specialist supports, are crucial, particularly given an unfamiliarity with vocational pathways, for both themselves and their parents, as well a lack of networks young people often rely on for employment guidance.

Whittlesea has a high level of cultural and linguistic diversity. The area has a large population of humanitarian (1,157 arrivals from 2010 – 2016) and recently arrived people (12,327 from 2010 – 2016). Therefore a targeted or specialist approach will be a key enabler to address these needs and support young people’s sustained participation in employment and education.

What is your idea?
To bridge the gap of knowledge around education, training and employment pathways, BSL proposes to have young people trained to engage and provide peer support to youth from CALD backgrounds who are at-risk of long-term unemployment. This will be achieved by training young community leaders in an Adaptive Leadership and Community Engagement Facilitation Skills program. Developed at Harvard University, Adaptive Leadership is the “practice of mobilising people to tackle tough challenges and thrive”, which, amongst other things, will ensure they have the expertise to support participants.

The ‘Employment Ambassadors’ will represent a range of different cultural groups and gain employment experience by being employed by BSL to co-develop and co-deliver the youth engagement component of BSL’s ReSource Youth Program. These ambassadors will engage their young peers, extended family and community groups and through referrals from BSL’s internal services as well as external partners.

Our success will be grounded in our approach of having youth involved at every stage of the co-design and co-delivery process. Our ‘Employment Ambassadors’ will be pivotal to engaging disengaged CALD young people to refer to the ReSource program’s tailored support, to achieve targeted individualised employment outcomes.