Projects To Tackle Youth Unemployment In The Illawarra And South Coast

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward MP today announced four organisations have triumphed in a challenge to deliver government-supported programs to help young people into work in the local area.



Mr Ward said the NSW Business Chamber’s Skillsroad program, JobGetter, Green Connect and HI AIMS were among 12 successful bidders for the NSW Government’s $10 million Youth Employment Innovation Challenge.

“The Challenge is unique among such programs in that we went to local communities to seek placed-based solutions to youth unemployment,” Mr Ward said.

“We reached out to communities including Kiama to understand their problems. We then threw out the challenge for them to help come up with fresh, local solutions to get young people into work.

“Green Connect operates in the environmental sector running an organic farm and engaging in various areas of environmental repair including recycling and composting at large events. In doing so, they provide jobs, training and wrap-around support to young people.

“Skillsroad is an online platform which connects young people and employers. The project will support and mentor young people through the Skillsroad journey and match them with jobs.

“JobGetter helps get 15-24 year olds into jobs by identifying then promoting jobs, and employers who offer them, to young people. By working with communities as a whole - employers, schools, career counsellors, parents, workers, coaches and job agencies - JobGetter identifies the individual needs of job seekers and funnels them into the pathways that will get them job outcomes. 

“HI AIMS is a 6-month coaching and mentoring program aimed specifically at young Aboriginal people, who historically have experienced high rates of unemployment. The program offers a collaborative approach to becoming job-ready by providing structured opportunities for coaching, mentoring and a safe place to gather and connect with community,” Mr Ward said.  

The NSW Deputy Premier and Skills Minister John Barilaro said the NSW Government is committed to targeting youth unemployment with the support of the community.

“That’s why we’ve reached out to local communities, local businesses and innovators who understand local problems and are best placed to come up with fresh ideas to get young people into work or training.

“Having a job is one of the best ways to boost someone’s sense of self-worth and empowerment and it’s important that we create and support new ideas to help our young people get into work,” Mr Barilaro said.