Supporting young people and parents

Youth employment

Labour market conditions for young people have improved in recent times, however many continue to encounter difficulties when trying to secure work, and can face longer spells of unemployment.

The department administers a number of programs, services and initiatives to help young people into work. These include the Youth Jobs PaTH program and the Transition to Work service.

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire)

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) provides three elements to help give young people:

  • the employability skills that employers want
  • opportunities for work experience, and
  • support to move from welfare to work.

To 30 June 2018, there have been 45,117 participants in at least one Employability Skills Training activity, PaTH internship or Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy.

Prepare: Employability Skills Training

Employability Skills Training (EST) helps young people develop their skills and confidence through intensive pre-employment training.

Young people undertaking EST enhance their work readiness through two different blocks of targeted training.

  • The first provides young people with pre-employment skills including communicating at work, working in a digital world and how to identify and solve problems.
  • The second training block focuses on advanced job searching skills, career development, interview skills and the opportunity to participate in industry awareness experiences, which provide insights into the tasks and duties of different industries.

In the past year, EST has equipped more than 20,000 young people to meet the expectations of employers in both the recruitment process and as new employees in the workplace. More than 30 per cent of these young people successfully moved onto a job or internship within six months of completing EST.

Trial: internships

PaTH internships give young people the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to an employer in a structured and supervised work experience placement. Employers can trial a young person in an internship for between four and 12 weeks to see how they fit into the team, and if they are suitable for ongoing employment. Each internship is co-designed by the business, young person and their employment services provider. This matches the young person’s skills, interests and experience and ensures the business’ needs are met.

Young people who participate in an internship receive $200 a fortnight as an incentive payment on top of their income support. Host businesses receive $1,000 (GST inclusive) to help with the costs of hosting an internship.

Since the program began in April 2017, 6,048 internship placements have commenced with 2,922 businesses in fields including accommodation and food services, and retail trade. A total of 3,484 young people have successfully completed their internships and of those, 2,332 gained employment following the program.

Hire: Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy

Under jobactive and Transition to Work (TtW), employment services providers deliver and manage the Youth Bonus wage subsidy (the Hire element of PaTH). The subsidy provides a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to help businesses hire unemployed young people 15 to 24 years of age. From 1 July 2017, 25,439 Youth Bonus wage subsidy agreements have been made.

Empowering YOUth Initiatives

Empowering YOUth Initiatives aim to improve outcomes for people aged 15 to 24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment, and to prevent long-term welfare dependency. Projects operate for up to two years and are diverse, using a variety of approaches to address the barriers young people face to gaining and sustaining employment. They include initiatives such as work experience, outdoor adventure therapy, digital platforms and social enterprises.

The majority of round one initiatives have finished. Learnings captured though the evaluation and through Innovation in Youth Employment Services forums will inform ongoing service delivery and future employment policy design for young people. At the forums, employment services providers shared learnings—both successes and failures—and created local links.

Transition to work

Transition to Work (TtW) is a 12-month intensive service that began in February 2016. It provides intensive, pre-employment support to improve the work readiness of young people aged 15 to 21, and helps them into work (including apprenticeships or traineeships) or education.

TtW performance measures were increased in 2017 due to the strong performance of participants against the 2016–17 targets.

Job Jumpstart

The department’s Job Jumpstart website,, was developed to fill a gap in the availability of employment planning and job search self-help advice for young people. The website is also proving to be a useful resource for job seekers, career advisers, employment consultants, youth workers and parents. The department worked closely with young people to design the website and develop content which reflects what they want to know about transitioning from study to work. This ethos of collaboration with young people continues as we develop new content for the site such as a suite of videos and photos.


The department commenced the ParentsNext initiative on 4 April 2016 and established 31 projects across 10 local government areas. The program helps parents plan and prepare for employment while caring for young children, and aims to increase their employment prospects by the time their children start school. It provides personalised assistance to improve work readiness in a way that first and foremost recognises their role as a parent.

Over the course of 2017–18, the Department of Human Services referred 24,160 parents to project providers. Providers helped these parents to identify education and employment goals, develop a participation plan and access activities. Parents have become involved in more than 48,900 activities that meet their individual needs. This includes more than 9,700 undertaking education and training, almost 7,600 participating in community services such as parenting courses or counselling, and over 2,770 moving into employment.

The highest proportion of participants in the ParentsNext program are women at around 96 per cent. The program is addressing the Government’s strategy to increase women’s workforce participation by helping and connecting mothers of all ages to vital services.

ParentsNext national rollout

From 1 July 2018, the ParentsNext program will be expanded nationally to all employment regions. This will enable around 68,000 parents to benefit from the program each year. Approximately 96 per cent of these will be women and about 10,000 will be Indigenous. The expanded ParentsNext will be delivered as an intensive and targeted stream. Both will provide parents with connections to a wide range of services, which could include pre-employment training, mentoring, work experience and job opportunities. The intensive stream will provide services in 30 locations—10 where the program is currently delivered and a further 20 where there is a high proportion of Indigenous Parenting Payment recipients. The targeted stream will provide services in the remainder of the 51 employment regions (excluding remote areas).

Pilot program Launch into Work

The department implemented a new pilot program during the year, Launch into Work, which is helping to bridge the gap to employment for women.

The program works with employers to co-design projects that will prepare job seekers for specific roles within the employing organisation. All projects include targeted training, work experience, mentoring and a commitment from the employer to hiring all participants who successfully complete a pre-employment project.

Under the program, the department works with employers that provide training, work experience and mentoring to support job seekers to increase their skills, confidence and experience, and to find and stay in work.

It aims to provide employment opportunities for job seekers who are unlikely to be successful at gaining an interview or employment through traditional recruitment methods. Employers are required to commit to employing suitable project participants who successfully complete a pre-employment project.

The program continues to achieve positive employment outcomes for job seekers and supports Australia’s G20 goal to reduce the gender gap in women’s workforce participation by 25 per cent by 2025.

The first Launch into Work project with Lendlease Engineering concluded in October 2017.

The Launch into Work Women in Construction project delivered tailored accredited and non-accredited training, as well as practical work experience to prepare participants for a full-time civil construction apprenticeship. Whitelion provided mentoring and pastoral care throughout the project. It also supported participants as they transitioned into employment to ensure they had access to the support they needed to achieve positive employment outcomes. All 10 project participants successfully completed the project and transitioned into employment.