About the project

Social Ventures Australia would like to thank the Citi Foundation as our major corporate sponsor, as well as the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Brockhoff Foundation for their support of our work to develop the Review toolkit. The toolkit has been designed for organisations that deliver effective community-led employment programs for young people who face disadvantage.

The Project

This project is guided by a Design Working Group that includes Brotherhood of St Laurence, Orygen : The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, VicHealth, University of Melbourne, Jobs Australia and Jesuit Social Services.

With this deep expertise, the project aimed to:

  • Identify youth employment initiatives that increase the likelihood of a young person moving from unemployment to meaningful employment;
  • using this knowledge, develop a framework that can be used to understand the likely effectiveness of community-based youth employment programs;
  • review a number of community-based youth employment programs to better understand program structure, characteristics and measurement and evaluation for outcomes and impact; and
  • develop a digital platform that will extend the results of this work to the sector.

Defining ‘effectiveness’

The first stage of this project defined what ‘effective’ means for a youth employment program. For the purposes of this project, we have defined an effective program as one that:

develops skills and capabilities through study, work-like activities and employment to support a young person towards a meaningful* career *where ‘meaningful’ is defined by the end user

 

Proving and improving effectiveness

Using our definition of effectiveness, looking at available research and talking with experts, we developed four steps and ten characteristics that are important to maximising program effectiveness. This toolkit provides guidance and resources for each.

 

Case studies

Over the course of the project a number of community-based youth employment programs were reviewed so that we could better understand program structure and characteristics and the measurement and evaluation for outcomes and impact.