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The Sticking Together Project is our research-driven, youth employment solution. It pairs young job seekers with a dedicated Coach over 60 weeks. In this time, the young person, and their Coach work together to give them the best chance of success when getting started and sticking with employment.

The Sticking Together Project creates great employment outcomes for young people, and great results for their employers. From successful pilots in several states, the project is now running across New South Wales and South East Queensland.

The Sticking Together Project is much different from anything else I have ever experienced because it feels a lot more personal. You can tell that the Sticking Together group actually want to help you and are not just pretending to care. [My coach] has gone out of her way to help whenever I needed it and I think that without her support I wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities I have had today.

Our Focus

The Sticking Together Project has a strong focus on wellbeing. Coaches work with young people to build skills and help them access opportunities. They also act as a mentor and focus on areas like self-esteem and communication. Having a Coach’s support can make a big difference in developing a young person’s confidence as they tackle the job market.

This video provides an insight into the outcomes of our initial pilot project in 2018. In our pilot program, we worked with 100 participants who had all been unemployed for an average of two years. Over the 60 weeks, 82% had achieved employment and most of these people were still working three months after the program ended. Compared to other employment services, these young people were twice as likely to start a job and even more likely to stay in work for 6 months or more.

  • Transcript

    Voiceover

    It was sixty weeks ago in Melbourne and Adelaide when we began the Sticking Together Project and were introduced to some of the young people participating in it.

    Robert was living with his parents struggling to make ends meet and while he had the occasional part-time job, he was mostly unemployed since leaving school. Now Robert has four part-time jobs. He’s renting his own home and is well on the way to pursuing his dream of building his own home and owning his own café.

    Lachlan moved to Melbourne to pursue employment and while he found the occasional part-time job he was unable to maintain them. A recurring illness also hampered his job prospects. After finding two casual positions, Lachlan has now found full-time employment with the Australian Tax Office. He’s saving for a deposit on his own home and for the first time is optimistic about his future.

    After completing a degree Haigan had begun a master’s degree in visual communications. Low on confidence and lacking a clear plan to find work, his narrow field of experience resulted in many rejections and often being overqualified for entry-level jobs. Haigan became an associate lecturer at RMIT and after completing his master’s has since been promoted to lecturer. He hopes to travel the world and one day own his own design studio

    Zannie was attempting to juggle three part-time jobs, volunteer work and part-time study. It was an impossible task. In consultation with her Sticking Together Coach, Zannie entered full-time tertiary study and is much closer to becoming a remedial sports therapist.

    Coming from a migrant family, cultural and language barriers made finding employment difficult for Abdel. With mounting debts and no work, life was tough. After nearly a year working at Alsco, Abdel has cleared his debts, moved into an inner-city apartment, is planning an overseas holiday and is mentoring his younger siblings on the importance of school, how to budget and apply for jobs.

    When we began the Sticking Together Project, we had 100 young people on benefits. Less than a third of them employed and only working just over ten hours a week. Now more than 80 percent are employed for more than 32 hours a week. 32 of these young people are completely off benefits and the lifetime welfare cost-saving for 32 people already in sustainable work is an incredible 5.6 million dollars. So, the Sticking Together Project is obviously working but let’s look at two of our young people in more detail.

    After leaving school, Freeland entered tertiary studies to pursue his dream of becoming a youth worker but, with his studies complete he didn’t have the experience to gain employment in his chosen field and he really needed an income.

    Freeland

    I’m at the age where I’m too old to work at MacDonald’s and too young to apply for a lot of other things so I’m sort of stuck in a job limbo.

    Voiceover

    Applying for countless jobs and constantly being rejected was hard to take.

    Freeland

    Prior to coming here, it was just me sort of tackling everything by myself and it’s a mountain, it’s impossible. That cycle of rejection, it sort of chips away at your confidence and your self-esteem in a sense.

    Voiceover

    But Freeland didn’t give up.

    Freeland

    You have two options. You feel bad for yourself and nothing changes or, you, you know, pick yourself up and once you’ve hit the bottom, you can’t really go any further down. So, you could just sort of sort of work your way back up.

    Voiceover

    And while the first position he found didn’t ultimately work out, things are now looking up.

    Freeland

    The first job, which was Greene St, I just had to move on, it wasn’t paying off enough hours. I spent a week applying for everything essentially and then I got a call from someone at rehab hire saying there was a there but I only went seven days between job a and job B and I’ve been there happily ever since.

    Voiceover

    How did the Sticking Together Project help?

    Freeland

    They actually care, they’re not just asking because it’s common courtesy to ask. They, you know, are concerned about your mental health and how you’re going.

    Karim (Sticking Together Coach):

    The good thing about the Sticking Together Program is that Justin myself can really work on a one- on-one level. We get to build up that person-to-person rapport, really show them that you we’re not just here to tick a box.

    Freeland

    Karim has been supporting me through the whole thing. Every time I’ve had questions about anything, he’s always been willing to help me with it. Having the coach is really, really important because otherwise, I’d sort of just be stuck.

    Voiceover

    How does life look now?

    Freeland

    You actually feel like you’re living your life, like prior to that you were just existing. The last time we spoke a lot of that was to do with career progression, now my focus is more on personal growth and the future. Get a car, start a mortgage, really save, maybe even try and get a second job. Long term, try to go back to uni and do the masters of teaching.

    Voiceover

    Brayden left school at a young age and was soon stuck in a rut.

    Brayden

    I’ve been out of school since the age of 15. I have failed Year 9. I’ve got my second kid on the way, he’s due in April. I was on Centrelink payments from the age of 15 to the age of 21. I was a dole bludger, I had nothing to do every day, I was just sitting at home on the couch. I had no responsibilities, I had little care. I wouldn’t even barely look at the time because time was just a thing I had. Basically, being unemployed you have no life.

    Voiceover

    Eventually, with the help of his Coach, Brayden did find a job and was adapting to a new life with new responsibilities when…

    Brayden

    I’ve come off from the bike on my way home from work. Caused me to be off work for a while. It was terrible, I had Centrelink income, I had no work income. I had $0 for three months straight.

    Voiceover

    After such a long time on benefits, it would have been so easy to fall back into that world.

    Brayden

    I’ve always wanted work, always been determined and I need to start thinking properly about where I want to get in life so, I want to work.

    Voiceover

    How did the Sticking Together Project help?

    Brayden

    Well he (Justin) just rings me up, makes sure that everything is okay with me and everything’s all right with my employer, makes sure I’m happy at work.

    Justin (Sticking Together Coach)

    We talk about how to communicate in the workplace, you know, what is punctuality? What is reliability? What is initiative and how to use it? Not only in the workplace but, out in the real world.

    Brayden

    You always need someone there to help you get your confidence back up.

    Voiceover

    How does life look now?

    Brayden

    Work now is very good. I’m expected to be put to full-time in the next few weeks. Well, I’ve been told that I’m my boss’s most reliable worker. These past few months I’ve probably been finishing my job, two, three hours earlier than I’m meant to. So, then I just walk around and help other people out. My goal was to not have a single day off this year.

    Voiceover

    There have been ups and downs but, nearly 81% of the young people coached for the 60 weeks are now in employment and are looking toward brighter futures. So, how do they sum it up?

    Freeland

    Well it works. Yeah, that’s probably the gist of it. I came in needing support and I’ve left being independent.

    Brayden

    The program is great. Like if you have a look at my very first video, I’m pretty sure that would give you a rough idea on how good the program is.

    Lachlan

    It’s about supporting you and giving you the tools to succeed but, a little bit of support can go a very long way.

    Haigan

    It’s something that I think everyone needs, because you get to that point where you’re stuck and you’re in a hole and you can’t get out and it really does feel like you’re just trapped, right you can’t get a job.

    Karim

    A lot of the young people were quite pessimistic, kind of didn’t really think about the future because they didn’t necessarily see a future. They didn’t know what their next steps were but now a lot of young people are planning for the next six months, for the next year. Making big long-term plans and that’s a really great thing to see.

    Justin

    You can see them now that they do have a lot of pride and you can see the way they walk, their confidence, their belief in themselves and there’s some real purpose in the way they go about their day to day life now.

    Robert

    Now that you’re telling me to say goodbye to the program and Justin, I’m feeling a bit emotional at the moment, you know. It was such a good thing you know, it’s…I could say, it’s life-changing for me.

    Voiceover

    The Sticking Together Project has not only helped these young people find a job and stick at, it has helped them change their lives. They’re happier, healthier, and more optimistic. They have dreams, new value systems and a renewed sense of purpose and of course they have jobs. The Sticking Together Project, it’s working.

With the Sticking Together Project, my young employee has a greater understanding of my expectations.

Working with Employers

Sticking Together Project Coaches work with employers to provide guidance and support. They can help with developing communication between the young person and their employer. They can also work to progress a young person’s skills when at work and can be there to provide support with any challenges as they arise.

To find out more or get involved please Contact Us.