Skills and education
All YFS teams promote skills development, from financial literacy to work-related training. In 2017-18 we saw good results for parents increasing their parenting and coping skills, and for trainees and volunteers accumulating work experience.
YFS’ electronic waste recycling social enterprise, Substation33, made significant progress in its innovation activities in 2017-18, increasing opportunities for participants to learn skills in a supportive work-experience environment.
New initiatives included the development of solar-powered charging units in conjunction with PowerWells, and water quality testing meters in a partnership with Griffith University. Substation33’s flood-warning-sign partnership with Logan City Council continued to grow. All of this means Substation33 can offer participants a pathway of work-related skills, from disassembling waste through to computer programming.
We continued our RailTrail traineeship program in 2017-18, with 16 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people learning land-management skills on the job, clearing land along the disused Bethania to Beaudesert rail corridor.
YFS’ community education efforts help people build financial and legal skills and the knowledge to avoid crises. Our legal pro bono community education is working with legal firms such as Collins Biggers Paisley and Wotton + Kearney. The lawyers have been delivering community legal education to Year 12s about employment, tenancy, contracts and debt.
In May 2018, YFS became a host organisation for a new national trial of a project to support young parents to continue to participate in education and employment. Funded under the Federal Government’s Try Test and Learn initiative, the Brave Foundation’s Supporting Expectant and Parenting Teens mentor pilot project began working with teenage parents in Logan.
Our Step by Step family support team helped families improve their parenting and life skills. The team developed their knowledge and practices in 2017-18 by participating in a tailored training program and practice framework based on an evaluation of the service.
Looking forward in 2018-19
Innovation and inspiration
YFS received funding from the Queensland Government for a traineeship program called Community Campaigns, for women who want to return to work.
In March 2018, eight trainees began working in six Logan community organisations, learning skills in administration, marketing and promotion. During the six-month traineeship, these young women helped their host organisations run campaigns ranging from domestic violence prevention to understanding the new child care subsidy system. They gained nationally recognised qualifications, and helped their host organisations build their profiles. Most trainees have since gained ongoing employment with their host employers or other organisations. The trainees received supervision and support from Substation33 team member Aroha, who started with us as a trainee herself in 2016.
The ParentsNext service has a broad scope: helping parents on a parenting payment to improve their work readiness so they can return to work when they are ready. ParentsNext measures participants’ skills, broken into job-specific skills, job-search skills, basic skills and social skills. On average, our ParentsNext participants achieved significant change in all skills, particularly job search and job-specific skills.
ParentsNext participants' work readiness
“It was such a relief to have someone from YFS come around and have a chat about the struggles I was facing. I realised I was no longer alone.”