[Sub ID 4891] Wrap Around Business Incubator (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services)

Submission ID: 4891
Organisation name: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?

Young carers, Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
5.4% of Queenslanders aged 15 to 24 years old identify as carers. It is likely that these figures underestimate the true number as many regard the support they provide as a normal part of relationships. Caring can impact on a young person’s ability to participate in the workforce and education. 60% of young primary carers aged 15-25 years are unemployed or not in work, compared to 38% for the general population of this age group. Only 4% of young primary carers in this age group are still at school, compared to 23% of the general population. Not because young carers see education or workforce participation as not important. Rather, their carer role adversely affects their ability to continue education or long-term employment.

17% of all births in Australia are to mothers aged under 25 years and 3.4% are to teenage mothers 19 and under. Young mothers are more likely to experience poor socioeconomic outcomes, including workforce participation, with mothers under 25 more likely to leave the workforce, and stay out, compared with mothers aged over 25 with similar characteristics.

For young parents and carers a barrier exists between the carer or parenting role and opportunity to become financially independence through skills development and greater workforce participation.

What is your idea?
The Wrap-around Business Incubator (WABI) is a one stop shop that provides information, support and services for young carers and young parents. On-site child care facilities are provided free of charge for young parents to enable them to participate in the WABI program. Similarly, young carers are given access to respite services through a referral service.

The WABI one-stop shop will comprise:

• Skills development hub – utilising specialist skills trainers or subsidise access to established training opportunities including arts, financial services, consultancies, trades, child/aged care, web page and app creation, production of goods for the retail market such as jewellery, fashion or handcrafts. Opportunities arising from NDIS implementation.

• Business and financial planning training hub – including information about how to access small business support and services available from the Commonwealth, State and local governments and business networks.

• Clearing house for important information on establishing a small business – from information on how to write a business plan, what microfinance and other funding opportunities are available (specifically for the demographic of WABI program participants) and how to access them.

• Guest workshops– depending on local needs and availability provide opportunities for participants to hear from local or visiting ‘success stories’ and alumni (former WABI-participants). This will include workshops where the presenter is available to talk to the group, as well as watching online talks/training programs followed by WABI program coordinator-led discussions.

• Mentor opportunities – depending on local needs and availability facilitate a mentor program for participants to link with successful small business owners directly and network with other small business owners more broadly. Depending on numbers and availability this might be a referral services to opportunities in the community such as Rotaract, Masons, Lions club, Young Achievement Australia (entrepreneurs) and other community networks.