[Sub ID 4411] Gateway to help young students continue study or find work (Policy Hack Table 4)

Submission ID: 4411
Organisation name: Policy Hack Table 4 (Students)
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?
Students who dropped out of their VET course account for more than 50% of VET and University students with a long-term dependence on unemployment payment.

While the enrolment process into a VET course is structured and somewhat rigorous, a student can exit their course before completion without much investigation or process.

More monitoring or early warning signs, a more structured exit process and planning for the future will provide an opportunity to either re-engage students back into their study, find a new course, or be placed into work – rather than end up onto unemployment benefits.

Various factors can impact on a student’s real or perceived capacity to complete their course:
• Limited social/support network or advice (compared to secondary school)
• Lack of exposure to work, workplace experience, and employers (even within VET)
• Lack of direction and/or clarity of labour market opportunities relating to course
• Mental health
• Unstable accommodation and/or household circumstances
• Financial difficulties – including potential loss of existing part time work
• Inadequate transport
• Poor course selection
• Poor quality of course
• Carer/parenting responsibilities overwhelming their study commitments

Existing student support services do exist, they may be too narrowly focussed or be unable to advise the student on non-study matters.

What is your idea?
To reduce the numbers of VET students dropping out of their course of study and becoming long term unemployed, students would undertake a mandatory “gateway” process, as a condition qualify for subsequent welfare support payments.

The gateway would:

– Be proactively offered to ‘at risk’ students based on early warning signs, with a predictive analytic tool to identify this cohort.
– Include a triage approach to help students manage barriers to continuing their studies including a planning component to ensure the student either reconnects with their existing course, finds an alternative course, or finds work.
– Be undertaken by a (third party) independent of the training institution, and if necessary, away from the institution.