SYC’s youth employment program the Sticking Together Project doesn’t just help young people find and stick to work by building their work readiness skills.

It also looks at the young person’s wellbeing and finds ways to improve their connectedness, motivation and personal self-worth through the lens of home, health and relationships which can all impact their experience of work. The program provides participants with a dedicated coach to help them navigate personal issues as they pursue work as well as helping to bridge any gap between the young person and their employer.

When the original 100 participants first started the program the average period of unemployment was 2.1 years. Now at the halfway point of the 60 week pilot, 76% of current participants are in work and the average hours worked by the young people has increased from 10.4 hours per week to 24.8 hours per week, at a time when underemployment is a significant issue facing younger, lower skilled employees. When compared to a similar group of job seekers who are not receiving coaching, early results show much improved job placements and retention for the Sticking Together Project young people suggesting that a coaching approach has the potential to produce significantly better job outcomes.


One of the program participants, Jasper, said that the support he has received from his coach Justin has been instrumental in increasing his confidence and getting him on a positive path.

“His encouragement and belief has been so important. I had low self-esteem and no belief in my abilities, but he has shown me the way and my personal growth has been massive.

“There were times I felt worthless and depressed, but since joining the Sticking Together Project it has inspired confidence and purpose.

“My life has changed for the better – I am happy and confident for the future. I couldn’t say that before I started this,” he said.

Through the project Jasper has identified an aspiration for a career as a Police Service Officer and recently completed the physical tests and interviews for the application process. However, it was identified that he didn’t have enough life/work experience to be accepted at this stage and it was recommended that he get some more experience in a customer service role.

His coach Justin said that it was a crucial moment that Jasper could have seen as a major setback, but having support meant he was able to see it as an opportunity to build more skills and work towards his career goals.

“As a coach I am able to provide support when things don’t go a certain way and try to help the participants re-focus on their goals instead of having a purely emotional reaction.

“Jasper recently secured a full-time job at Chemist Warehouse, where he is developing the skills he needs to help him get the life/work experience needed to join the Police Force.

“The feedback from his employer has been overwhelmingly positive. His manager said he has fitted in seamlessly, formed strong relationships with staff and earnt immediate respect through his hard working demeanour and initiative, he said.

We are looking forward to following Jasper’s journey.