Up to $50M is available to give young people the extra help they need to move into work.
Empowering YOUth Initiatives, administered by the Department of Employment, provides funding to community organisations to deliver innovative and unique 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 Youth Employment Strategy in the 2015–16 Budget. It will see a range of initiatives that offer new and creative ways to connect with young people, their families, communities and employers to help them on a path to secure employment.
The objectives for Empowering YOUth Initiatives are to:
- help more young people at risk of long-term unemployment to find and a keep a job
- identify innovative approaches that have the greatest potential to improve employment outcomes for young people at risk of long-term unemployment and prevent long-term welfare dependency
- promote learnings from Empowering YOUth Initiatives to assist government and organisations working with young people to enhance current and future service delivery.
Round 1 of the Empowering YOUth Initiatives will particularly focus on assisting:
- young people in regional Australia, especially in those areas that are undergoing structural change or with high levels of social disadvantage
- Indigenous young people
- young people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background
- early school leavers.
There are three categories of funding available for up to two years for Round 1 of the Empowering YOUth Initiatives. Applicants may submit up to three innovative proposals with a limit to one proposal for each of the following categories:
- Up to $500,000 (GST inclusive)
- $500,001 up to $1,000,000 (GST inclusive)
- $1,000,001 up to $2,000,000 (GST inclusive).
The Funding Agreement between the Department and successful organisations will specify milestones that link key deliverables with payments for each initiative. The first payment will be 40 per cent of the total individual initiative funding and payable at the time the Funding Agreement is executed. Additional payments will be specified in the schedule of the Funding Agreement and dependent on organisations achieving agreed performance milestones. These milestones may include:
- meeting the expected number of participants
- submitting progress reports
- collecting data and information required for evaluation
- specific project milestones
Eligible participants include:
- Young people aged 15–24 years (inclusive) who are long-term unemployed (unemployed for 12 months or more) or at risk of becoming long-term unemployed are eligible to participate in an initiative. Young people may participate in an initiative regardless of whether they are in receipt of income support and/or receiving assistance from an employment service provider.
- Not-for-profit, non-government organisations not contracted to deliver employment services
- A group of legal entities (they can respond as a consortium, joint venture, partnership or some other form of alliance in order to deliver Empowering YOUth Initiatives). An organisation that is identified as ineligible to apply cannot enter into these arrangements.
All organisations applying for Empowering YOUth Initiatives will need to demonstrate strong networks with employers and community services; this could include communities for online initiatives.
The Department may consider proposals outside of the priority groups of young people where they address a pressing local need, take advantage of a time-limited opportunity, or represent significant value for money.
Applications close 18 December 2015.