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New Ideas to Try, Test and Learn


9 March 2017 at 4:35 pm
Wendy Williams
Hundreds of people have submitted innovative ideas to help young Australians move from welfare to work.


Wendy Williams | 9 March 2017 at 4:35 pm


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New Ideas to Try, Test and Learn
9 March 2017 at 4:35 pm

Hundreds of people have submitted innovative ideas to help young Australians move from welfare to work.

The federal government received nearly 400 ideas from individuals and organisations responding to a call for submissions for the first slice of the $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund which closed on Friday 24 February.

The fund, which was first announced in the 2016 federal budget, is set to trial “new or innovative approaches” that promise to assist people who have the capacity to work but are at risk of long-term reliance on welfare, move into stable and sustainable employment.

Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said individuals, academics, businesses, the non-government sector and other government agencies had shown “great interest” in the fund.

“The breadth of ideas we received from across Australia to help young parents, young carers and young students move from welfare to work has been very pleasing,” Porter said.

“Throughout the application period there was genuine engagement from across the community in all states and territories.

“The ideas we have received are varied, ranging from developing new online platforms for students, through to working with employers to provide young parents more flexible work arrangements, through to linking priority group members with training and guaranteed jobs, and many others.”

Based on last year’s Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare’s Baseline Valuation Report, the first round of funding will prioritise young parents, young carers and young students at risk of moving to long-term unemployment.

Porter said the quantity and quality of ideas showed that the individuals, academics and businesses were “deeply committed” to working with the government to improve the lives of young Australians “trapped in the welfare system”.

“The hundreds of individuals and organisations from all corners of Australia that submitted an idea should be congratulated,” he said.

“Thank you for coming to the table, having an honest discussion, and submitting an innovative idea that can help young Australians have a better chance of independence.”

The fund is expected to open for ideas several times over multiple years, allowing organisations and individuals additional opportunities to submit proposals.

All ideas are initially assessed for eligibility for the fund with the most promising shortlisted for further development.

Shortlisted ideas will then enter a co-development stage, involving refinement and co-design of the idea in preparation for funding.

According to the handbook it is expected that up to 10 ideas will be selected for delivery in the first tranche.

Successful ideas are expected to be announced in May, with implementation to begin soon after.

More information about the Try, Test and Learn Fund is available on the Department of Social Services website. Eligible ideas can be found here.


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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