The Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce (MYET) was established in 2017 in response to high rates of youth disengagement and unemployment in Greater Dandenong. The Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce brought together representatives from all levels of government, business and industry, community services and the education sector.
This short-term taskforce met between May and October 2017, with the resulting Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce Action Plan launched in November 2017. The Action Plan identifies key priorities and critical gaps where collective action is needed to respond to youth disengagement.
The key initiatives arising from the Action Plan were delivered throughout 2018. These included:
Two 'Accelerate' events were held to bring young job seekers together in direct contact with employers offering real, entry-level job opportunities. These events utillised a range of structured activities (including speed interviewing, workshops, a panel discussion and more) to promote interaction between job seekers and employers.
Youth and Family Services worked with South East Local Learning and Employment Network (SELLEN) to provide a coordinated calendar of support available to young school leavers who were identified through the On Track survey as still looking for employment six months after finishing Year 12.
The Taskforce acknowledged the impact of generational disadvantage and unemployment, and committed to undertake a pilot project with vulnerable families to promote a 'whole of family' approach to improving employment outcomes. Through a partnership with the Greater Dandenong Business Unit and the Community Revitalization Project, jobseekers were linked to the Careers Education Association of Victoria (CEAV) who provided an opportunity to meet with a guidance counsellor for one-to-one intensive support. Jobseekers completed an Employment Readiness Scale, and worked with their guidance counsellor to develop a jobseeker activity plan.
Taskforce members agreed to advocate for initiatives (such as the Navigator program) that support young people’s reengagement in education. It is noted that the 2018-19 State Government Budget provided a further $44 million to expand Navigator beyond the current pilot sites, ensuring all students in Victoria have access to the program.
Other key employment initiatives
Whilst the role of the MYET has now concluded, the key themes identified in the Action Plan will continue to underpin the future work of Youth and Family Services.
Key initiatives will continue to include:
This two-day program is delivered in partnership with the YMCA and offers young people an opportunity to explore different career options through a highly interactive program of activities including mentoring, personal development, workplace visits and work readiness workshops. Work Inspirations is available to up to 30, year 10 students each year.
Where young people may lack paid work experience, volunteering offers an opportunity to develop transferable skills. As part of the IMPACT program, Youth and Family Services facilitate a number of direct and 'hands-on' volunteer experiences, across a range of settings. This includes one, two and three day immersive experiences designed to introduce young people to volunteering. An annual volunteering expo is also held in October each year to further promote and link young people to local volunteering opportunities.
In addition to these key initiatives, the Youth and Family Services team will continue to facilitate opportunities to enhance the work and career prospects of young people, including:
- Advocating on behalf of young people and their families
- Working with key stakeholders including employment services, local businesses and tiers of government to lead coordinated approaches
- Promoting information about career pathways for young people
- Delivering a range of capacity building programs to enhance young people's skills and work readiness, with a focus on trialing new and creative approaches.