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The issue

Australia’s jobless rate among young people aged 15 to 24 currently sits at about 12.9 per cent, more than double the general rate. Unemployment and underemployment disproportionately affect young people experiencing disadvantage and young people with complex needs are not always well served by mainstream employment programs.

Across Australia, many organisations are delivering community-led employment programs. These organisations valuably contribute to the lives of young people. However, evidence of their impact is inconsistent and limited, largely owing to irregular and inconsistent data collection, which is the result of limited resources, time and capabilities. Currently, there is no effective mechanism for identifying and extending good practice across the sector.

Review’s approach

Review is a toolkit for organisations who deliver community-led employment programs. The toolkit design is based on the philosophy of continual improvement and identifies ten characteristics that contribute to the effectiveness of a program.

The toolkit includes a suite of information and tools that make it easier to design and plan programs, identify potential improvements and demonstrate outcomes.

Review is supported by a design working group that includes the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Orygen: The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, VicHealth, the University of Melbourne, Jobs Australia and Jesuit Social Services.

Moving into the project’s second year, SVA will work with community-led employment programs to test the toolkit resources, develop a digital data collection and aggregation platform and build sector capability.

Organisations that participate will be able to view the results of their individual programs as well as have access to sector data against which they can benchmark their results. This data may also provide SVA with insights into general characteristics of effective programs, which can be extended to policy influencers and the wider sector.

What’s innovative about it

Ten characteristics for effectiveness

The Review toolkit incorporates resources based on four steps and ten characteristics that are important to maximising employment program effectiveness and encourage continual improvement.

Builds on sector experience

Review builds on the experience of organisations we have spoken to that acknowledge that data collection is important to the work they do. However, these same organisations say that regular and consistent data collection is hampered by lack of resources and simple tools.

Accessible and easy to use

Review is a free digital platform that includes three surveys that can be used by community-led employment programs to easily collect feedback from the young people they work with.

Valuable data for improvement

Data can be viewed at an individual and program level and can be used to track program effectiveness, drive continual improvement and show program impact to potential funders and partners.

Positive impact so far


Review toolkit and website launched


organisations attended workshop on data collection and use


organisations showcased as examples of good practice

Our priorities in FY20

  1. Build sector capability to use data to continually improve programs over time.
  2. Extend learnings into the sector; including to funders, peak bodies and policy influencers

Sustainable Development Goals

8 - Decent Work and Econmonic Growth

To learn more contact