SYC has innovated throughout our history by identifying a social need, exploring solutions, designing programs to test our ideas, measuring results and ultimately establishing a sustainable funding source. That’s why we say that innovation is in our DNA.


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Our Mission

At SYC, our Mission is to empower the people we work with to create a life without disadvantage, to build sustainable independence and to experience personal wellbeing in all areas of their life. We achieve our Mission by designing, developing and delivering services in our Learning, Working, Home and Justice portfolios – and by having a deliberate focus on Wellbeing in everything that we do.

We believe that good innovation is about motivation. Our motivation is simply to develop better solutions that get better outcomes and create greater empowerment for the people we serve.

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The My First Job Initiative

From our work with young people, we have learned first-hand that existing employment services weren’t seeing young people experience success in work at the same rate as the general population.

Since our Mission calls us to pursue system change where it is needed, we began developing the My First Job initiative in 2013. We wanted to bring together government, training and business leaders to discover great practice and the key elements that make it work. The working group came up with five key elements.

coach and young person working in cafe sticking together project
Designing and Developing

From the fifth element, post-placement support, we began to design an intensive 60-week coaching model, the Sticking Together Project. The project was piloted in South Australia and Victoria in 2016, followed by Queensland in 2017.

These pilot projects have shown that effective post-placement support can help young people outperform standard employment services in workforce participation rates and reduce welfare dependency.

We are currently still running a pilot version of the project in Melbourne with 25 participants due to reach week 60 in 2019.


Through a Social Impact Bond with the NSW Government, we have been able to launch a full-scale operation of the project that will eventually support over 900 participants in 3 regions.

The emphasis throughout this process has been on developing a model that can be replicated across the country. We continue to look for expansion opportunities through licencing, partnerships and other funding models.

The next chapter

This six-year process that led to the development of the Sticking Together Project was an enormous investment – and we’re not done yet. Now that the Sticking Together Project is fully operational, we’re ready to start the exploration process again.

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My First Job 2.0

We’re embarking on a second My First Job process against a backdrop of persisting high youth unemployment and largescale disruptions to our economy and the nature of work.

We don’t yet know where this next My First Job will lead us. We look forward to discovering the trends that the group discovers and using those insights to improve the lives of young Australians.