In 2014 we proudly launched our first youth employment hub in Adelaide, called HYPA Works, powered by iiNet Business. HYPA Works is designed to provide a framework within which to develop youth employment opportunities that help young people transition from school or further education into the workplace from the research SYC’s My First Job initiative has conducted.

According to our Chief Executive Officer, Paul Edginton, HYPA Works provides the ideal framework for helping young people get into work or develop their own work.

“We have been working on this model for some time now and it’s very heartening to see it come to life and be embraced by young people and business owners alike,” Mr Edginton said.

“Youth unemployment is way too high in Australia, and especially so in some of the more disadvantaged areas, so having a hub that develops, grows and fosters youth employment opportunities is increasingly necessary to do our bit in overcoming this problem.”

There are currently three youth employment initiatives that sit within the HYPA Works hub, each working separately but with strong connections and collaboration between all three. With start-up funding support from the Department of Education, HYPA Works has been created to provide genuine opportunity for young people to gain real life work experience and to help them develop skills that will result in either being employed or setting up their own business.

One of the three initiatives Bizifyd, a social enterprise that trains young people with an interest in social media and technology to run their own consultancy business, providing affordable counsel to small businesses that don’t have the time or knowhow to maximise opportunities through social media.

The program includes six weeks of business training, involving business planning, marketing, customer excellence, communication and more, and six weeks of authentic work experience with the support of business coaches to engage with small business and provide social media services.

The model has already been welcomed by small business owners in South Australia, with eleven businesses having already signed up for the Bizifyd service.

Fleurieu business owner, Cheryl Lush from Lush Pastures, was one of the first South Australian business owners to sign up for consultancy from the young people at Bizifyd. According to her, it’s an opportunity to finally get amongst social media properly without having a skill up and spend inordinate amounts of time developing and monitoring content.

“Having an enthusiastic young person working with me will mean I can still have input but can leave the interrogating of data, video editing and creating content to him/her. I also like the concept of giving young people real life experience and helping them succeed.”

Other youth employment initiatives that are part of the HYPA Works hub are HYPA Transitions, a program specifically designed to help young people transition successfully from learning to working, and Work’d Up, a work experience initiative that provides young people with the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work, what it takes to be a good employee and how to make the most of work opportunities they are given, by providing extended work experience opportunities for up to six weeks with close mentoring and support given.

“Basically we want to make sure that young people are given a fair go” says Mr Edginton.

“There are so many young people who are desperate to work but for whatever reason cannot break through to get that first run on the board. We aim for HYPA Works to facilitate that break for them.”