Approximately half a million people in Australia have been out of work for over a year despite actively seeking employment.

The Industry Employment Initiative (IEI) delivers an innovative employment model that meets the recruitment needs of large employers while improving outcomes for long-term jobseekers who are willing and able to work.

Taking a demand-led approach, the IEI starts with an employer’s needs and works backwards from there. SVA deeply engages employers to co-design highly supported training and employment pathways. Simultaneously the IEI is providing tailored training, work placements and wrap around support of job seekers through their transition into employment and individualised post-placement support.

Watch this short video explaining the IEI program:

In 2014, long-term unemployment in Australia reached its highest level in a decade.[1] At the same time, it is predicted that Australia will need 800,000 new workers over the next five years. Yet 42% of Australian employers report difficulties filling vacancies.[2] This disconnect between large employers and disadvantaged job seekers not only puts a number of entry-level roles out of reach for long-term job seekers, but also leaves a huge pool of untapped talent.

What the IEI provides

Working directly with national employers the IEI helps train, place and support long-term unemployed young people into stable and sustainable employment. The IEI is demonstrating the effectiveness of demand-led employment, creating positive outcomes for both jobseekers and employers.

The IEI presents an opportunity for employers to:

  • Create or extend demand-led programs into reliable training, support and recruitment pipelines
  • Identify potential adjustments to internal policies and practices
  • Position their business at the forefront of innovative recruitment practices
  • Increase the diversity of their workforce
  • Demonstrate a commitment to helping young people break the cycle of long-term unemployment.

The IEI helped our organisation to fulfil its community objectives and also address a recruitment need; finding skilled and able employees looking to build a career working across the hospitality sector.’ Marriott Melbourne, 2016

The IEI is seeking corporate partners to participate in the IEI to:

  • Contribute to the design of a tailored employment pathway
  • Provide work placements that, if successfully completed, have direct line-of-sight to a job
  • Provide outcome data and feedback on the IEI model and contribute to developing best practice demand-led employment programs.

The IEI & Jobs Victoria

Jobs Victoria is the Victorian Government’s major initiative to help disadvantaged jobseekers gain employment in Victoria. Jobs Victoria initiatives are being delivered by specialist employment experts who work closely with employers to identify job opportunities and prepare job seekers.

As a Jobs Victoria partner, the IEI, led by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in partnership with Jesuit Social Services and support from the Business Council of Australia is helping unlock new potential employment opportunities.

IEI and Jobs Victoria: Key Program Information 

Target CohortPrimary focus:

  • Young people (18-24)
  • Long-term unemployed
  • At risk of long-term unemployment

Programs to date have engaged young people with a range of barriers and from varied backgrounds. Throughout this contract, the IEI will seek to expand to additional target cohorts, matching candidates to suitable roles.

Employment FocusThe IEI focuses on three target industries:

  • Hospitality, including hotels
  • Retail, including supermarkets
  • Early Childhood Learning

Employers from targeted industries are engaged to identify and commit available roles to the program, supporting candidates whose aspirations align with those roles through structured training and into employment.

LocationsThe IEI is contracted to deliver Jobs Victoria tailored services across Victoria.

Program locations are determined in consultation with employers, aligning recruitment and training with their workforce needs. Existing program locations have included Melbourne Metro & Western Region.

Download the Industry Employment Initiative information sheet (PDF, 700KB)

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2014, Labour force, May 2014

[2] Manpower Group, 2015.

[3] ACCI, Employ Outside the Box, February, 2012. 

The IEI Youth Pilot (2014-2016)

In 2014 Social Ventures Australia,  Jesuit Social Services, Brotherhood of St Laurence and Mission Australia, with support from the Business Council of Australia formed a consortium to prototype an employment model to meet the recruitment needs of national employers while improving outcomes for long-term unemployed jobseekers.

Made possible by philanthropy, the IEI Youth Pilot (2014-2016) was premised on deep employer engagement to bridge the gap between national employers who have vacancies and long-term unemployed jobseekers who are willing and able to work.

Working with employers from around Australia, the IEI engaged organisations who were committed to creating opportunities for disadvantaged jobseekers whilst fulfilling their recruitment needs. Long term unemployed young people were trained with line of sight to a job, gaining employment in nine hotels around the country, thirteen Goodstart Early Learning centres across two states and twelve Coles stores around Victoria.

Case Study

Tim, a 22-year-old, long-term unemployed candidate took part in an Industry Employment Initiative training program, that had direct line of sight to vacancies in the hotel industry. Whilst Tim had some previous work experience and his aspirations aligned with roles on offer, due to stress and anxiety, he was finding it difficult to attend some training sessions. Through Jesuit Social Service’s field officer support for Tim, it was established that he was about to be evicted from his home.

Working closely with Tim’s jobactive representative, Jesuit Social Services used its networks to provide Tim with tailored support and additional assistance whilst he was participating in the program. This enabled Tim to continue his training with renewed enthusiasm and peace of mind, successfully completing all modules of his training. Once he progressed into work placement at a hotel, his confidence grew as he applied his new skills, proving to others and himself that he was suitable for the role. Following the work placement, Tim was offered ongoing employment and was supported by the employer and the IEI to reach his potential.