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Building jobs: renewal SA's works program at Playford Alive

15 Oct 2014


This report provides a detailed overview of Renewal SA’s Works Program implemented as part of Playford Alive, a large scale urban renewal project representing a partnership between Renewal SA, the City of Playford, the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), Housing SA and the local community. It documents evidence generated by semi‐structured interviews with project staff and participants of the program. Renewal SA’s Works Program at Playford Alive requires private contractors and service providers to deliver either work experience and longer term placements or training to a number of local unemployed people as a condition of being awarded the contract. Key findings from this report include:

  • Early pessimism based upon ideological objections to ‘government interference’ in business decisions proved to be ill‐founded and contractors appear to have embraced the program.
  • There exists a diverse range of physical and psychological barriers to the unemployed entering the labour market and this justifies the eclectic nature of the Works Program.
  • The ‘three tiered’ structure of the Works Program means that the unique circumstances and support requirements of individuals can be best addressed.
  • The Works Program was viewed as particularly useful by women who had taken time out of the labour market due to childcare responsibilities as it enabled them to retrain, build human capital and change career trajectories.
  • Both the work experience placement and onsite training offered participants the opportunity to ‘showcase’ themselves and ‘get a foot in the door’.
  • The Works Program recruits through multiple entry points, both private sector and public institutions, and has succeeded in creating awareness of the program throughout the community.
  • All three streams incorporated within the Works Program have been well used. These streams include:

1) classroom training

2) Live Site training and

3) work experience placements.

  • The Works Program generates quantifiable and measureable outcomes, for example new jobs and formal qualifications, however it also generates a range of subjective outcomes which are more likely to encourage longer term employment and other social benefits.
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