Funded Empowering YOUth Initiatives


Empowering YOUth Initiatives were funded under two funding rounds. Round one initiatives ran between April 2016 and June 2018. Round two initiatives ran between May 2017 and June 2019.

There were 39 initiatives as set out below. All initiatives are now complete.

Funding round Provider/Initiative State Description Project Period
1 headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd
Digital Work and Study Service
National A free, online service that provided a combination of mental health and work and study support to young people across Australia, with a particular focus on reaching early school leavers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and young people in regional Australia. The service was delivered through digital platforms, including web chat, video conferencing, emails and phone calls. The service also provided clinical support to young people who required assistance with mental health issues. June 2016 to June 2018
2 headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd
Digital Industry Mentor Service
National Young people were connected online with experienced industry mentors to develop their confidence, networking and soft skills. Mentors increased employment opportunities for young people through existing networks and setting realistic goals that aligned with participants’ skills and work-readiness. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club Ltd
Brisbane Broncos Career Club
NSW Focused on increasing young people’s retention rates at school and employment prospects. Indigenous Brisbane Broncos players acted as ambassadors to inspire young people to be proud of their culture and gain confidence to set goals for their future. Brisbane Broncos merchandise and apparel, and participation in events with elite athletes were used as rewards to recognise young people’s achievements towards employment. May 2016 to May 2018
1 Charity Bounce Ltd
Hoop Dreams
NSW Encouraged disengaged young people to take part in a variety of events, coaching and mentoring, job placements and leadership programs. Hoop Dreams was delivered in partnership with the Sydney Kings and allowed young people to access opportunities related to the world of basketball. June 2016 to June 2018
2 ECA Training Pty Ltd
The Indigenous Apprenticeship Readiness Program
NSW Indigenous young people gained the skills, experience and self-esteem to successfully begin an electrical apprenticeship. They were provided with mentoring support and personal development training through the Mulga Gidgee Indigenous community organisation. Participants were supported to transition into or remain in an apprenticeship or employment. May 2017 to June 2019
1 Graceades Community Cottage Inc
Productivity Bootcamp in Construction
NSW Provided accredited training in construction at a building site training centre with experienced and qualified tradespeople. Young people experienced a variety of real-life building and construction situations and were supported to develop work ethic and life skills in the areas of health and safety, injury prevention, attitude to work, communication and more. Upon completion of the program, young people received six months of support to help them gain and keep a job. June 2016 to August 2018
1 Kiama Community College Inc
NextGEN Digital Development
NSW Provided access to supported training and paid work to encourage interest and employability in Information, Communication and Technology through the Digital Business Hub social enterprise. Young people developed employability skills and learned social media and website development skills. June 2016 to June 2018
1 NSW Business Chamber Ltd
Skillsroad Show
NSW Provided careers advice through a travelling caravan across more than 70 towns in NSW. Provided professional employment resources for young people. Using an established network of local chamber members, engaged with local communities to tackle youth unemployment by sourcing local opportunities for young people. June 2016 to June 2018
1 Settlement Services International Ltd
NSW Helped young migrants and refugees keep their jobs or develop pathways to employment through matching them with trained mentors that suit their needs. Supported employers to improve their cultural awareness and break down cultural barriers. May 2016 to May 2018
2 Settlement Services International Ltd
Youth Pathways and Placement Project
NSW Young people gained employability skills and work experience through short-term employment in a range of social enterprises. They received targeted on-the-job training, and assistance to address personal barriers with a focus on supporting families and communities. June 2017 to June 2019
2 Scouts Association of the NT
NT Delivered employability skills and training through a team building a Motorkhana-style car. Young people gained a Certificate I in Automotive, undertook driver training, obtained a White Card, First Aid training, financial training, cross-cultural training and work experience. They also received counselling and mentoring support during and after the program to ensure their success in finding stable work or further education or vocational training. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Top End Group Training Pty Ltd
Becoming a Worker
NT Helped young people in secondary school in the Northern Territory improve their ability to gain and keep a job. Young people were supported to improve their work and employability skills, given assistance to address any personal barriers, helped to complete a Certificate I in Business, and placed in work experience, employment, or school-based apprenticeships/traineeships. June 2016 to March 2018
1 Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Service Inc
Fraser Coast TESS Driving School Social Enterprise
QLD Connected young people with a driving school business and provide opportunities to undertake work experience and accredited training, and work towards earning their drivers’ licence. Young people earned TESS dollars, a mock currency used in the initiative, by successfully completing activities and used their TESS dollars to pay for driving lessons. April 2016 to April 2018
2 Impact Community Services Inc
Employment FirstAid (E+)
QLD Through an anonymous telephone hotline service and digital platforms, participants and employers received advice and support to enhance confidence and resilience in the workplace. The service promoted a range of strategies that employers and employees could adopt to improve retention of young people in employment. June 2017 to June 2019
2 QLD Youth Services Inc
Recycle your dreams
QLD Established a social enterprise that recycled goods for re-sale. Young people engaged in daily operations to develop their entrepreneurial skills, including business planning, and product design, making and distribution. May 2017 to May 2019
2 The Trustee for Pathways to Resilience
Empowering Youth to Thrive
QLD Used a neuroscience approach to empower young people in learning and happiness to assist with transitioning into employment, increase confidence and ensure they build stronger relationships in the workplace. The service worked collaboratively with families and caregivers, as well as employers to ensure participants received a range of case management support. May 2017 to June 2019
1 United Synergies Ltd
QLD Provided real life experience in the hospitality industry through accredited training, motivating activities and support from industry mentors. Young people were trained as a barista in the organisation’s social enterprise café and took part in a well-being program. Activities included the use of a custom-made interactive gamification app. June 2016 to April 2018
2 Baptist Care (SA) Inc
Tumbelin Go
SA Delivered an adventure therapy program providing case management support and career planning. Activities focused on addressing personal barriers, increasing participants’ confidence and developing their job and teamwork skills. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Brain Injury SA Inc
Support SA Youth Initiative Transition (SSAYiT)
SA Supported young people with acquired brain injuries gain skills and confidence to connect into employment, education and their community. Young people were helped to access services and assistance to gain an understanding of how their disability or brain injury may affect their ongoing employment and everyday living. Through mentoring and support, young people developed achievable goals and life aspirations. April 2016 to June 2018
2 Employment Options Inc
SA Through an interactive game, the service delivered virtual and real-world activities to young people with learning difficulties or low education outcomes to increase their motivation and employability skills. The service incorporated gamification principles to motivate participants to reach goals and complete the program. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Eyre Futures Inc
Eyre Peninsula Journey to Work
SA Supported young Indigenous people to build their cultural identity and self- confidence, and connect with strong Indigenous community role models. Young people received mentoring and case management support to develop their education and employment pathways. June 2016 to June 2018
2 MAS National Ltd
Cycle of Change
SA Engaged and motivated young people at risk of disengaging from school through BMX riding workshops. Provided mentoring support and a range of vocational and non-vocational workshops. Participants explored behaviours and attitudes which have impacted on their learning or transition to employment. June 2017 to June 2019
2 Workskil Australia Ltd
Get Moving
SA/ NSW/ VIC/ Online Delivered an integrated package of assistance to relocate participants living in regional and urban locations with slow labour markets to sustainable employment. Young people received support with travel, resettlement, housing, peer support, well-being, family dynamics and mentoring. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Big hART Inc
20 in 2020
TAS Increased employability and community connections for young people in rural areas of northern Tasmania through creative arts based projects, digital technologies and performance platforms. Provided support for young people to increase their soft skills and attributes (such as confidence, ambition and resilience), work readiness and school retention. April 2016 to October 2017
2 Colony 47 Inc
TAS Established a series of simulated workplace projects where young people gained work skills through development and delivery of community-derived advocacy campaigns on issues relevant to their local community. Participants pitched their campaign ideas to a panel of local employers and community representatives. May 2017 to June 2019
2 Workskills Inc
Youth Entrepreneurial Services
TAS The social enterprise provided supported work experience for participants through creating and selling their own products online, prior to moving onto a work experience placement with a participating business host. Participants were supported by a youth coach to gain key employment skills, and ran pop-up stores and markets using uniquely designed retail modules. May 2017 to June 2019
2 Apprentices Trainees Employment Ltd
VIC/ NSW A mentor-based driver education program, including financial planning and employability skills training covering interview techniques, understanding employer expectations and job search techniques. Participants were supported to obtain a driver’s licence, secure a job and achieve their goal of purchasing a vehicle. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Geelong Ethnic Communities Council Inc
VIC Matched CALD young people with mentors from a range of industries and provide career counselling, employability skills training and a 60 hour employment placement. Employers and community based organisations provided young people with meaningful capacity strengthening experiences and activities to develop an employment/education pathway. April 2016 to May 2018
2 iEmpower Youth Inc
iEmpower Youth Cooperative
VIC Contributed to the establishment and management of a graffiti removal and cleaning cooperative, to develop employability skills and understanding of business management principles. June 2017 to December 2018
2 Karingal Inc
Youth Community
VIC/ SA/ QLD Built strong peer-support networks and developed social skills, leadership skills, employability, confidence and motivation to seek employment. The service included access to online platforms incorporating gamification and rewards to motivate participants to reach goals and complete the program while receiving mentoring support. June 2017 to June 2019
2 Vision Australia Ltd
Building Stronger Futures
VIC/ ACT/ NSW/ QLD Provided young people who are blind or have low vision with pre-employment support in a simulated work environment to develop soft skills, communication skills, interview techniques and explore career options. This was combined with mental health support to help young people gain permanent employment. June 2017 to June 2019
1 Western BACE
Youth BACE
VIC Provided support to gain Certificate level qualifications, training and paid traineeships in the IT industry. Located in an enterprise hub, young people were connected to on-site businesses and received mentoring to support an entry level pathway to a career in IT. June 2016 to July 2018
1 Workforce Plus Inc
VIC Developed a virtual reality prototype game to allow young people to undertake virtual work experience within the disability services sector. Young people developed and trialed the game, and undertook training and vocational placements in the disability services sector. June 2016 to June 2018
2 Anglicare WA Inc
Designing for an Independent Future
WA Designed, tested and implemented new intervention methods to meet the needs of homeless young people in the Perth metropolitan area to assist in their connection to employment. The service worked directly with young people experiencing homelessness as well as specialists in research and community services to establish innovative approaches to improving outcomes for vulnerable youth. June 2017 to June 2019
2 Black Swan Health Ltd
YAppE Alliance
WA An interactive, user-centred app for young people experiencing mental health concerns to support them to sustain employment. The data provided through the app was tracked and monitored by a team of mental health professionals ready to provide personalised support and immediate assistance when required. May 2017 to April 2019
1 Great Southern Employment Development Committee Inc
Young Harvest
WA Provided casual employment for young people in bee keeping or garlic cropping social enterprises with professional mentoring and development sessions. Supported young people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds to explore careers as interpreters and translators. Supported research into the challenges and opportunities young people face in regional Western Australia. June 2016 to June 2018
1 Whitelion Youth Agency
Solid Youth
WA Helped young people develop skills aligned to local employer needs and provided pre- and post-employment support, training and work experience. Work activities included contributing to the development of a social enterprise and the refurbishment of the community site where the social enterprise was run. June 2016 to June 2018
2 Wirrpanda Foundation Ltd
Bidi Waalitj Project
WA Collaborated with the West Coast Eagles Football Club and its corporate partners to place Indigenous young people from into culturally appropriate and safe employment. Young people were provided with the skills development and training relevant to their interests and goals as well as strategies to overcome barriers to gaining employment. June 2017 to June 2019
1 YMCA of Perth and Community Inc
Swim for Life
WA Developed the employability of young people through training to become graduates of the Bronze Medallion lifeguard training program and provide casual employment. Young people undertook other training toward their education and work goals. April 2016 to June 2017

For more information about any of these initiatives, please contact the department at