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'I have a future now': evaluation of the Career Readiness for Young Parents Project

Low socioeconomic status Youth unemployment Vocational education and training Teenage parents Western Australia

The Career Readiness for Young Parents (CRFYP) program is a Commonwealth-funded project under the Department of Social Services (DSS) Try, Test and Learn Fund. This fund supports new or innovative projects aimed at improving the employment prospects of people at risk of long-term welfare dependence.

Bridging the Gap (BTG) was responsible for running the overall program, with the goal of enhancing the employment outcomes of young parents from selected low socio-economic neighbourhoods in Perth. Many of the participants experienced complex and often multiple non-vocational and vocational barriers pertaining to issues of health and mental health, gender, low levels of education, the cost of childcare, and the lack of capital.

The CRFYP program was designed to be non-judgemental, holistic, and person-centred. The key interventions fell under two main groups: vocational and non-vocational.

Key findings:

  • The main data sources recording levels of satisfaction indicate that most participants experienced a high degree of satisfaction with the program. The multi-pronged approach, combining one-on-one sessions and advocacy with group activities, was highly beneficial to participants.
  • The project improved life readiness for a number of participants by effectively addressing non-vocational barriers pertaining to personal circumstances such as health, housing, personal safety, food, and finances.
  • The project effectively addressed barriers leading to education and employment. The program enabled participants to increase their career readiness by improving their opportunities to study and work.
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