In the 2015–16 Budget the Australian Government committed $331 million towards a Youth Employment Strategy to help young people at increased risk of long-term unemployment to improve their chances of finding and keeping a job. There are three main elements to the Youth Employment Strategy. They are:
  • Transition to Work
  • Intensive Support for Vulnerable Job Seekers
  • Engaging Early School Leavers

In the 2016–17 Budget the Australian Government announced a Youth Employment Package to help more Australians, especially young job seekers, to get into work and move off welfare.

Transition to Work

The Transition to Work service will provide intensive, pre-employment support to improve the work-readiness of young people and help them into work (including apprenticeships and traineeships) or education. The service will have a strong focus on helping young people to understand what is expected in the workplace and to develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours expected by employers.

Intensive Support for Vulnerable Job Seekers

Intensive Support for Vulnerable Job Seekers will be delivered through four different programmes:

Empowering YOUth Initiatives

Empowering YOUth Initiatives will support new, innovative approaches from not-for-profit and non-government organisations to help young people who are identified to be long-term unemployed or who are at risk of long-term unemployment overcome their barriers and move into work and sustain employment.


ParentsNext starts in April 2016 and will assist parents of young children to plan and prepare for employment by the time their youngest child reaches school age.

Employment Support for Young People with Mental Illness

Two specialised models of employment support will be trialled with a focus on improving employment outcomes for young people with mental illness:

  1. A national trial for up to four years of the Individual, Placement and Support (IPS) model of vocational assistance, will be undertaken to assess and evaluate its effectiveness in assisting young people with mental illness to remain engaged in education, or to transition to employment in up to 15 locations across Australia.
  2. In August 2015, a one year trial commenced to test a participant-driven employment assistance model for up to 200 young job seekers in Disability Employment Services (DES) with a mental health condition. Trial participants have access to a $5,000 ‘Career Account’ to invest in their choice of goods and services to help them overcome barriers to employment.  The trial has been rolled out in three Employment Service Areas – North Brisbane (Queensland), Maroondah (Victoria) and North Metro (Western Australia), and will be evaluated to inform the re-design of DES for 2018. In addition, youth mental health training and support is being developed for all DES providers. Further information on the trial is available online, or by contacting the Department of Social Services at

These measures are being implemented by the Department of Social Services.

Transition Support for Young Refugees and other Vulnerable Migrants

The Youth Transition Support Pilot will help young humanitarian entrants and vulnerable migrants under 25 to participate in work and education.

This measure is being implemented by the Department of Social Services and further information is available on the Youth Transition Support pilot programme page.

Engaging Early School Leavers

New rules for Early School Leavers came into effect on 1 January 2016 to strengthen the chances of early school leavers finding and keeping a job.