$50 million in Grant Funding for Empowering YOUth Initiatives
17 November 2015 at 9:57 am
The Australian Government is now seeking applications for grant funding under the new Empowering YOUth Initiatives worth $50million in direct funding over four years.
Funding is available for Not for Profit, non-government community organisations to deliver innovative services that help vulnerable young people who are long-term unemployed, or at risk of becoming long-term unemployed.
The initiative was announced under the Support for Vulnerable Job Seekers measure as part of the $331 million Youth Employment Strategy in the 2015–16 Budget, with $50 million allocated in direct funding to organisations over four years.
Minister for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash launched the Empowering YOUth Initiatives application grant guidelines on Friday 13 November in response to the growing issue of youth unemployment.
Young people can face particular disadvantage in finding and keeping a job, and when the labour market is tight, as it is now, they can find it even more difficult to get their foot in the door. The youth unemployment rate is double the national average with around one in nine young people not in work and not attending full-time education.
Young people are already competing against people with a history of demonstrated work experience which can make them less competitive in the labour market. Add to this the sometimes negative perceptions that employers have of young workers, or living in a regional area or an area of entrenched disadvantage and getting a job can become even harder.
Getting a job also becomes more complex for those vulnerable young people who have to overcome personal barriers, such as risk of homelessness, substance abuse or health issues, unstable family life, or leaving school before achieving year 12. And at the same time, the longer a young person remains unemployed, the more disengaged they can become. Even if they can get some work, they may not keep it or know how to use their experience to secure a more stable job. Empowering YOUth Initiatives will work towards preventing unemployment, reducing a young person’s barriers to employment or helping a young person to remain in a job they have.
There are a number of Not for Profit, non-government community organisations that are currently helping vulnerable young people through a range of unique models that address barriers to employment and support young people into work. Empowering YOUth Initiatives will see a range of innovative ideas that offer new and creative ways to work with young people, their families, communities and employers to help them on a path to secure employment.
The Government is looking for diversity in the scale, locations, approach and service delivery options for each initiative delivered across Empowering YOUth Initiatives. Funding will be available over at least two funding rounds. The first round of Empowering YOUth Initiatives will focus particularly on young people who are living in regional areas with high levels of social disadvantage, early school leavers, Indigenous young people, or young people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
Up to 20 individual initiatives are expected to be funded in the first round with each running for a maximum of two years. Organisations are able to apply to receive up to $2 million in funding to deliver the first round of the initiatives from March 2016.
To ensure vulnerable young people at risk of long-term unemployment are supported into the future, the Department of Employment will work together with successful organisations to collect evidence that will promote learnings for the future service delivery of young people.
Applications for Empowering YOUth Initiatives will be considered as part of a competitive process run by the Department of Employment, with organisations selected on the basis of their responses to the selection criteria contained in the Grant Guidelines. Applications close 5.00 PM AEDT 18 December 2015.
Want more information?
More information will be provided through face-to-face information sessions Sydney (18 November), Adelaide (19 November), Brisbane (20 November), Perth (23 November), Hobart (23 November) and Melbourne (24 November), in addition to two online webinars (17 and 24 November).
To read more about applying for grant funding under the Empowering YOUth Initiatives or to book into an information session or webinar, access the grant guidelines on the Employment Services Procurement Information website.