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Explainer: Youth Jobs PaTH

This story was published on 11 February 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Youth Jobs PaTH is an Australian Government employment service that helps young people gain skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job.

What is Youth Jobs PaTH?

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) helps young, inexperienced job seekers who struggle to enter the labour market. It has three elements:

  • Prepare—Employability Skills Training helps young people better understand what employers expect of them in the workplace, and equips them with the skills and behaviours to be successful in finding and keeping a job.
  • Trial—voluntary PaTH Internships of four to 12 weeks give young unemployed people a chance to show what they can do in real workplaces.
  • Hire—a Youth Bonus wage subsidy of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) has been available since 1 January 2017 to help more businesses hire young people.

What issues is Youth Jobs PaTH addressing?

Young people are more at risk of long-term unemployment and therefore welfare dependence. Around 150,000 young people are on Newstart or Youth Allowance (other) payments. Almost 100,000 unemployed young people aged 15–24 have never worked at all.

With the youth unemployment rate (11.5%) more than double the national rate (5.0%) as at 31 Janaury 2019, Youth Jobs PaTH—Prepare, Trial and Hire creates opportunities for young Australians under 25 years to improve their job readiness, work experience, and move away from a lifetime of welfare.

Young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment need assistance to build their work experience and skills in the workplace, and have a better chance of getting a job.

Young people have difficulty simply getting a job because competition for job vacancies is high. Young people are competing with other experienced job seekers who are already working or have recently worked. This competition makes it hard for young, inexperienced job seekers to get a foot in the door.

Youth Jobs PaTH helps young people become more competitive in the labour market by ensuring they have the basic employability skills that businesses need, while providing them with opportunities to demonstrate those skills and secure ongoing employment.

How does Youth Jobs PaTH work?

Youth Jobs PaTH responds to employer and industry feedback that young people can increase their job prospects by improving their employability skills and gaining relevant work experience.

The Prepare, Trial and Hire elements are interchangeable, allowing eligible young people to access what best suits their needs.

The flexible design of Youth Jobs PaTH means young people can participate in the Prepare, Trial and Hire elements in any order. This allows eligible young people to be referred to the elements that best suit their needs and level of work-readiness. For example, a participant could undertake Employability Skills Training followed by an internship and then complete further training. Alternatively, they could complete Employability Skills Training and then move into a job with the assistance of a Youth Bonus wage subsidy.

How much money is invested in Youth Jobs PaTH?

Youth Jobs PaTH is an investment of $789.0 million over four years (2018–19 to 2021–22).

How many job seekers have participated?

At the end of December 2018, 61,079 young people had participated in at least one element of Youth Jobs PaTH, with 39,786 (65 per cent) obtaining a job placement.

What do participants think of PaTH?

Breaking the cycle of welfare dependency by securing employment can have a profound positive effect on young people. This includes improved motivation, increased self-confidence and optimism for the future. 

Watch young people talk about how getting a job with the help of Youth Jobs PaTH changed their outlook on life:

Youth Jobs PaTH also helps employers by preparing young people, so that they are ready to be hired. Through Youth Jobs PaTH, employers can trial a young person in the workplace, and receive a wage subsidy if the young person is then employed.

Prepare—Employability Skills Training

What is Employability Skills Training?

While the ultimate goal is to assist young people into sustainable work, Youth Jobs PaTH recognises some young people need a range of services or assistance to help them on the pathway to work.

Employability Skills Training helps young people better understand what employers expect in the recruitment process and the workplace. It equips them with the skills and behaviours to be successful in a job. The training is delivered by Registered Training Organisations.

How does Employability Skills Training work?

Employability Skills Training is available to young people under 25 years of age from their first day in the Australian Government’s recruitment service, jobactive.

Employability Skills Training consists of two 75-hour blocks delivered over three or five weeks. Young job seekers can do one or both blocks, in any order, depending on their needs.

  • Training Block 1
    • Pre-employment skills to prepare young people to meet employer expectations. Core skills include managing career and work life, reliability, communication skills, problem solving, teamwork and using office technology. Industry-specific training provides pre-employment skills for sectors as wide ranging as retail, community services, automotive, business, civil construction, tourism and telecommunications.
  • Training Block 2
    • Career development and job preparation. Participants learn advanced job hunting and interview skills while also increasing their understanding of the labour market. They attend industry awareness experiences, exposing young people to different work environments to help them identify which industry is right for them.

Participation in Employability Skills Training is voluntary for the first five months the job seeker starts in jobactive.

After five months in jobactive, participation in both blocks of training is mandatory. However, the job seeker’s jobactive provider can apply a temporary exemption them if another activity better meets their needs (e.g. work experience, a PaTH internship or other accredited training).  A temporary exemption can also be applied if the jobactive provider assesses the job seeker has non-vocation barriers or if they already possess the skills provided by the training.

Is Employability Skills Training subject to compliance action?

If a young job seeker has a mandatory requirement to participate in Employability Skills Training, their participation helps them satisfy their Mutual Obligation requirements for their income support payment.

Young people who fail to start or attend the training as required are subject to compliance action. This may include a temporary suspension of their income support payment and potentially a demerit and financial penalty (where accrued demerits have placed the job seeker in the ‘penalty zone’ and two capability reviews have been conducted).

What are the benefits of Employability Skills Training?

It is not always easy for young people to apply for jobs and promote themselves to employers. Participating in Employability Skills Training can increase their job prospects by helping them gain the skills employers are looking for, as well as gaining exposure to workplaces and building networks.

Data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows that when a young person participates in Employability Skills Training they increase their chances of getting a job.  When allowing for a full six months to achieve an outcome, over 43 per cent of job seekers who have participated in one or both blocks of EST obtain a job placement and/or internship.  The data also shows that participants who successfully complete an internship following the training are even more likely to get a job, especially compared with job seekers of the same age who do not participate in PaTH.

Trial—PaTH internships

What is a PaTH internship?

A Youth Jobs PaTH internship is a voluntary structured work experience placement.  It is an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their skills to employers.  

Young people are eligible to participate in a PaTH internship if they are aged 17–24 on income support, have been in employment services for six months or more, and are registered with a jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services provider.

Participants receive an incentive payment of $200 per fortnight on top of their regular income support payment, paid by the Australian Government.  This is not a wage.

For employers, a PaTH internship provides an opportunity to see how a young person fits into their business and if they are suitable for future employment. Host businesses receive an upfront incentive of $1,000 to help cover the costs of training, and the supervision requirements of hosting the young person

A PaTH internship runs for between four and 12 weeks, for a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 50 hours per fortnight.

The details of the PaTH internship placement, such the duties of the intern and the dates and hours of attendance, are agreed between the participant, host business and employment services provider to ensure they meet the needs of the participant and host business.

PaTH internship placements are co-designed to meet the needs of the participant and host business.

An intern can undertake any suitable activities that are part of the business’ standard practices. For example, an intern may:

  • undertake tasks to do with stock management and customer service in a retail shop
  • shadow a carpenter and help with measuring, quoting and delivering supplies
  • assist with office or reception tasks.

What are the benefits of a PaTH internship?

PaTH internships provide young people with real world, on-the-job experience needed to help find a job.

Participants gain vocational skills in the industry of their choice, while improving their job prospects and building confidence to enter the labour market.

PaTH internships also give young people the opportunity to participate in an industry to see whether it suits them. A young person may undertake an internship in an industry or role that they previously knew little about and discover a career path they didn’t know existed.

For employers, PaTH internships provide an opportunity to trial a young person to find out if they are the right fit for the business. Because the internships are voluntary, these motivated young job seekers are keen to be part of the host business.

PaTH internships are achieving good employment outcomes for participants. Post-program monitoring by the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows 70 per cent of young people who successfully completed a PaTH internship between May 2017 and April 2018 were still in employment when surveyed three months later.

What safeguards are in place to protect interns?

Employment services providers play an important role in setting up an internship placement. They ensure the placement is suitable for the young person, evaluate the risks of the placement, and ensure the intern is prepared with the right equipment or training.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business and employment services providers monitor all PaTH internship placements including through:

  • data analytics processes
  • targeted assurance activities
  • incident reporting
  • complaints monitoring
  • tip-offs through the National Customer Service Line (1800 805 260)
  • feedback from participants, host businesses and providers.

Providers also check that the intern and host business understand their roles, rights and responsibilities before all parties sign the Internship Agreement.

Before signing the Internship Agreement, the employment services provider explains the terms and conditions of the internship. After signing the Internship Agreement, the provider gives the intern a copy of the Internship Agreement, a fact sheet, a contact card and information on insurance.

The participant can end the internship placement at any time, without penalty to their income support payment. In most cases, the placement ends early as the young person has decided that the industry is not for them.   

During the placement, the intern is supervised by a person with a high level of skills or knowledge of the activities the intern will undertake and ensures the intern undertakes tasks appropriate to their skills and knowledge in a safe environment.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business purchases insurance for all job seekers participating in employment assistance programs, including PaTH internships.

What safeguards are in place to ensure host businesses meet program requirements?

Before hosting an intern, the host business must meet a range of eligibility requirements.

There must be a reasonable prospect of employment for an intern following the internship, and the business must verify that an intern will not displace an existing employee or reduce an existing employee’s hours of work.

A reasonable prospect of employment means the business:

  • has a current vacancy
  • will likely have a vacancy following the internship, or
  • has a regular pattern of recruitment for a position aligned with the participant’s interests, experience and qualifications.

Employment services providers check a business’s suitability to host an intern, using a combination of placement history and local knowledge. Providers have access to information about host businesses, such as the number of interns hosted and employed by a business.  

Hire—Youth Bonus wage subsidy

What is a Youth Bonus wage subsidy?

The Youth Bonus wage subsidy is a financial incentive for businesses to employ young people in an ongoing job.

The wage subsidy provides up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) over six months to employers who hire eligible young job seekers 15–24 years of age in ongoing employment. In addition to being ongoing, the positon must average at least 20 hours a week over the six months.

An employer who hires multiple job seekers may be able to receive a wage subsidy for each eligible job seeker.

Changes to eligibility for Youth Jobs PaTH from 1 July 2019   

What is changing?

From 1 July 2019, the Government will expand the eligibility for PaTH internships to give 20,000 more young people the opportunity to participate and gain valuable work experience.

Disadvantaged young people in jobactive, Transition to Work and Disability Employment Services will become immediately eligible to participate in internships, removing the previous requirement to have been receiving employment services for a minimum of six months.

Young people in Stream A of jobactive will also have the option of participating in an internship earlier, if they participate in Employability Skills Training.

Why are these changes being made?

Youth Jobs PaTH is proving an effective employment program, helping young people into work.

PaTH internships are performing significantly better than previous work experience programs. These changes are being made to allow more young people—particularly disadvantaged young people—to benefit from a PaTH internship sooner.

Youth Jobs PaTH also helps businesses with their recruitment needs, connecting them with young people who are looking for work.

How are these changes funded?

The changes will be funded under the existing Youth Jobs PaTH funding.

Data in this article was updated on 14/03/19.

Correct at time of publication

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Last modified on Monday 22 July 2019 [9526|119044]