Collaborative sessions are held in employment regions across Melbourne on a quarterly basis, since being set up by the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
A recent session in Melbourne’s North West Employment Region, hosted by Youth Projects at its Glenroy site, brought together a range of employment service providers across the region to discuss strategies to drive best practice in delivery of the PaTH program.
The North West Employment Region has a significant youth unemployment rate of 16.1%.
Youth Jobs PaTH is an Australian Government initiative to support young people to the gain skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job. It includes three elements: Prepare, Trial, Hire.
At the end of June, 45,000 participants had completed at least one element of PaTH with 67% of participants who had completed an internship (the Trial element) getting a job placement.
Employment Facilitator for North West Melbourne, Terry Kennedy, discussed the unique challenges for young people looking for work in the region and the challenge to develop innovative, sustainable long-term initiatives to address these.
Terry echoed thoughts from most providers that PaTH – with its training and internship elements – is a great program for helping young people in the region into a job.
Trish Gentile from Workskil Australia said their organisation had made successful changes which had resulted in increased referrals to Employability Skills Training (the Prepare element of PaTH) and internships. The changes had put a greater focus on outcomes.
‘We appointed a PaTH coordinator for the region, who is focused on engaging with employers and meeting with eligible clients once a month, which has been successful,’ Trish said.
‘Being a dedicated resource, the coordinator is able to build strong relationships with employers,’ she added.
The providers recognised the importance of having discussions about PaTH early with young people seeking work, in order to maximise the opportunity for all elements of PaTH to be utilised.
They also identified that meeting employers’ recruitment needs is crucial, especially by ensuring there are enough suitable young people available to be referred for major recruitment drives.
Feedback from providers has shown the collaborative sessions are valuable for employment service providers across Melbourne to share what’s working, discuss challenges and propose solutions to emerging issues.