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NSW Invests $10 Million in Youth Unemployment Program


2 October 2018 at 5:07 pm
Luke Michael
A desire to change the narrative on youth unemployment has led to Australia’s first social impact investment focused specifically on addressing the issue.


Luke Michael | 2 October 2018 at 5:07 pm


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NSW Invests $10 Million in Youth Unemployment Program
2 October 2018 at 5:07 pm

A desire to change the narrative on youth unemployment has led to Australia’s first social impact investment focused specifically on addressing the issue.

SYC Limited’s Sticking Together Project (STP) recently secured a $10 million social impact investment from the New South Wales government to address youth unemployment in regional NSW and Sydney.

SYC CEO Paul Edginton told Pro Bono News the organisation had rebelled against youth unemployment conversations for years, because they focused too much on the problems with young people rather than on solutions.

“Young people are a valuable resource. And rather than talking to people who tell us things that are wrong with them, we thought why not focus on doing something about it?”  Edginton said.

STP uses an intensive coaching model to work with young people and their employer(s) over a 60 week period, with the aim of helping young people break into the workforce and making sure they stayed there.

Edginton said research showed if a young person hadn’t worked by the age of 22, there was a high chance they would become a long-term welfare recipient.

“The exciting part of STP is that it allows young people under 22 to work for 60 weeks and therefore gives them the best chance of a successful working life,” he said.

The coaching model was piloted in Melbourne and Adelaide last year, and an evaluation by the Queensland University of Technology found recipients were three times more likely to achieve a sustained connection to employment compared to young people generally.

SYC corporate strategy director Michael Clark said the results of the pilot proved the program could avoid the social and economic costs of youth unemployment.

“The results of the pilot were outstanding, with 66 per cent of the young people who participated being completely off welfare benefits at the end of the program,” Clark said.

“From a cost avoidance perspective, this is an excellent outcome and one we’re confident of achieving in NSW as well.”

Social Ventures Australia is currently seeking to raise $5 million through a social impact bond, to fund the delivery of the STP in advance of government payments.

Operations are expected to start in April 2019, supporting almost 900 young people aged 18 to 24 over a four year period.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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