Community Schoolyard

SVA has collaborated with United Way Australia (UWA) to deliver the Community Schoolyard project.

In partnership with the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Citi Foundation, SVA is testing a place based, collective impact approach to improving school to work transitions in Rooty Hill, NSW.

Youth disengagement and unemployment is a pressing issue, impacting a high number of people aged 15 to 24 years old. Across Western Sydney community, 14.2% of young people aged 15 to 24 years are unemployed. For young people, unemployment can lead to high levels of disengagement and long-term unemployment. Diverse efforts are underway across the Rooty Hill community to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people, but current approaches are not supporting sustained outcomes.

Venture mission

SVA and United Way Australia have collaborated to help young people at Rooty Hill and Plumpton high schools to make more effective transitions into further education, training or employment.

The Community Schoolyard project is testing a whole of school approach to careers education, provides targeted interventions for students at risk of not transitioning, and seeks to create an evidence-based approach to effective post-school transitions for at-risk students.

Case study

Over the last six years, UWA has worked with schools in communities experiencing disadvantage. This work has found that while some existing careers services are useful, there are rarely enough dedicated resources being directed towards post school transitions and careers preparation is starting too late.

This partnership is allowing UWA to build on its existing work in Western Sydney and work intensively with selected, at-risk students in Rooty Hill High School and Plumpton High School. The initiative is prototyping a range of interventions that aim to reduce poor post school transitions through joint service delivery, deep employer engagement and creating clear and supported pathways to improve post school transition rates for young people at risk.

It also includes testing UWA’s Ready to Succeed Toolkit, a free online resource (currently being tested in both schools) that starts careers education with simple modules from year 7, building aspirations and confidence as students progress, and increases its focus on technical and soft skills in later high school years. The toolkit aims to ensure every student is able to start their employment journey early and create a supported pathway that aligns with their age, interests and strengths.