New $65 million youth employment initiative

Media release | 29 June 2017

A new $65 million NSW Government program will target regions with the highest youth unemployment rates to train young people, help them overcome employment barriers, and get them into sustainable jobs.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills, John Barilaro, said the Youth Employment Program is part of the government’s $100 million Smart, Skilled and Hired initiative.

“This Program is designed to help people aged 15-24 get the skills they need to land lasting jobs in four unemployment hotspots – the North Coast, the Central Coast/Hunter, New England/North West and Western Sydney,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This program will assist those who are not already registered with Commonwealth employment programs and who are not in work or are underemployed.

“Young people, including early school leavers and at-risk groups, will have access to the support and training they need to overcome barriers to employment in both regional and metropolitan areas.”

Of the funding, $10 million will be used for the Youth Employment Innovation Challenge to seek new and innovative proposals from smaller local organisations.

Following a tender process, the following Youth Employment Program providers have been selected for each region:

  • Western Sydney: MAX Solutions Pty Ltd, MTC, Navitas English, and yourtown
  • Hunter/Central Coast: Advanced Personnel Management (APM) and The Salvation Army Employment Plus
  • New England/North West: BEST Employment Ltd and Job Link Plus
  • North Coast: TAFE NSW and Job Future Ltd.

These providers will be employed on an outcomes-based contracting model, which will allow them to design tailored support plans for program participants across areas including life skills, accommodation and transport, training, and health and wellbeing, while also considering factors such as the local labour market.

“The provider contracts will also have financial incentives linked to young people staying in employment for at least six months,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Of the funding, $10 million will be used for a Youth Employment Innovation Challenge to seek new and innovative proposals from smaller local organisations.

“The training, mentoring and work experience placements created through this program will help young people build their skills and experience to secure lasting employment.”

For further information on the Youth Employment Program visit

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