The Sticking Together Project is an SYC initiative founded in 2016. It aims to support long-term unemployed young people to break into the workforce and sustain long-term employment.

The innovative program runs over a 60 week period. Young participants work with a coach to overcome barriers that prevent them sustaining employment and also develop non-vocational skills.

“At its core, the Sticking Together Project is a coaching service. It’s designed to build high levels of rapport between young people, their coach, and their employer – a formula to increase the likelihood of any young person maintaining employment,” said Head of Development, Andrew Reilly.

“Lack of supports for new, young employees to adapt to the workplace and sustain work, plus insufficient supports for employers to manage them, are primary reasons for poor job retention,’ he explained.

The unique model was co-designed with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It has been piloted in Melbourne and Adelaide, allowing 100 young people the opportunity to participate over 2016/2017.

Results of the pilot showed 66 per cent of young people who completed the program came completely off welfare payments. This results in an estimated future welfare saving of $7.3m to the community. Further to this 79 per cent experienced an improvement in wellbeing and 95 per cent strengthened their employability skills.

Investment for the future

Due to the success of the pilot, SYC was thrilled to launch the Sticking Together Project Social Impact Bond, in September 2018 in partnership with the New South Wales Government. The investment bond, worth $5 million, is the first social impact bond in Australia to focus on youth employment. This project will begin in April 2019 and run for four years. It will support almost 900 young people aged 18 to 24 across New South Wales.

Funding of the Sticking Together Project through social impact investment represents a significant achievement for SYC and the very first time youth unemployment has been addressed in this way.

Molly participated in the Adelaide pilot of the Sticking Together Project and has now been employed for 18 months in a role that she loves.

 “After many years of unstable employment, I finally feel like my life is coming together,” Molly said.

“Prior to the Sticking Together Project, I couldn’t envisage a future or see a purpose to my life. Now I can see a career in my future, I am planning to have a holiday and eventually purchase a house!

“The Sticking Together Project changed my life and I would recommend it to any young person having trouble finding work,” Molly said.