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Australia social impact bond to tackle youth unemployment

ImpactAlpha, October 8 – Social Ventures Australia is looking to raise $5 million from private investors to expand an employment training and coaching pilot that ran last year in an effort to reduce youth unemployment in the state of New South Wales. The state government of New South Wales has agreed to invest $10 million in the intervention.

Australia has been adding jobs and improving its employment rate since the end of the economic crisis, but the unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 has remained high. As of March, about 14% of men and 12% of women in this age band were unemployed, compared to a national rate of about 5.6%. The rate of underemployed youth is higher yet.

Last year’s program, which was implemented in the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide by non-profit SYC Limited, coached young workers over a period of 60 weeks with the goal of getting them into the workforce and helping them keep their job. Participants of the pilot were reportedly three times more likely to sustain employment than their uncoached peers.

The proposed program in New South Wales is looking to begin in April next year and serve 900 youth between 18 and 24 years old over a four year period. If successful, the investors would be repaid by the funds allocated by the New South Wales government.

Australia has launched prior social impact bonds dealing with foster care, homelessness, and youth homelessness.

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