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$10m Social Impact First for SYC and Young People

  • Sep 24, 2018


SYC has achieved a first for Australia, entering into a $10m social impact investment with the NSW Department of Industry for the delivery of its youth unemployment program – Sticking Together Project – in regional NSW and in Sydney.

This investment represents the first time in Australia that a social impact investment has focused on youth unemployment – previous social impact investments have addressed social issues such as homelessness, mental health and children in out-of-home care.

The project involves the raising of $5m through a social impact bond in partnership with Social Ventures Australia (SVA).

STP utilises an intensive coaching model to build rapport with participating young people and their employer(s) over a 60 week period.  Almost 900 young people aged 18 to 24 living in the areas of the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven, the Illawarra and the city and inner south of Sydney, will benefit from the coaching they will receive as participants of Sticking Together Project in NSW over a four year period, commencing in 2019.

Sticking Together Project was conceptualised and co-designed by SYC in 2016 as an outcome of SYC’s My First Job initiative, which developed strategies to address high rates of youth unemployment experienced in Australia.  The objective was to create a model that assisted young people in breaking into the workforce – and staying in there – recognising that many young people had barriers to employment that required ongoing support to overcome.

social impact

The coaching model was piloted in 2017 in Melbourne and Adelaide with two primary objectives – to test the model, and to gather measurement data and analytics that would enable future funding through social impact transactions.

SYC Director of Corporate Strategy, Michael Clark, said today that STP represented a significant achievement of a milestone that was always designed to be funded by social impact investment.

“We set out right from the beginning to structure and measure Sticking Together Project in a way that would facilitate and enable funding through social impact investments, and it’s incredibly pleasing to see that aim become a reality” Mr Clark said.

“We are also very pleased to see the expansion of our NSW operations, having operated in NSW since 2013 with our Disability Employment Services”.

Mr Clark went on to say that the results of the pilot in Adelaide and Melbourne more than proved the value of the coaching model in avoiding social and economic costs associated with unemployment and subsequent poverty.

“The results of the pilot were outstanding, with 66% of the young people who participated being completely off welfare benefits at the end of the pilot”

“From a cost avoidance perspective, this is an excellent outcome and one we’re confident of achieving in NSW as well.”

Mr Clark also expressed SYC’s gratitude and appreciation to its various partners in Sticking Together Project.

“There’s no doubt that without our partners in this project, we would not have had the same success”.

“On behalf of SYC, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), who co-designed Sticking Together Project with SYC, QUT, who researched employment pathways of young people and evaluated the pilot results, SVA for supporting development of this opportunity and raising the social impact bond, and our various referral partners who have worked with us to collectively achieve greater social impact”.

Sticking Together Project now enters its set up phase, with operations expected to commence in April 2019.



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