We’re working to transform the systems that impact young people so they can pursue lives they value.

Over recent decades, education has been seen as the main path to a sustainable livelihood.

However, shifts in the labour market threaten to leave young people behind. There is no longer such a direct link between education and satisfying, decent work.

Ensuring all young people have a future to aspire to is a responsibility shared among policymakers, employers, educators and the community. We need collaboration based on the best evidence and ideas.

The Youth Opportunity team makes the most of its position at the nexus of research, policy and practice. We work hand-in-glove with BSL’s youth transition team to pursue systemic change for young people experiencing disadvantage.

Our work spans the areas of education, employment, leaving care and custody, and homelessness and housing.

Current major initiatives relate to the National Youth Employment Body  (NYEB) and the National Skills Trial .

Find all recent publications on Youth (2000-present)

Visit the BSL library for our prior research on Youth (pre 2000)

Our policy positions for youth

• Expand the availability of specialist employment assistance for young people.

Selected publications

By Joseph Borlagdan, Ally Phillipou, Felicity Miles and Jonathan Bak 2022

This report examines the contexts and mechanisms which enable the implementation of a national youth employment ecosystem that connects young people to decent work while also meeting the workforce needs of employers and industry in local communities.

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By Shelley Mallett, Sally James, Joseph Borlagdan, Danielle Thornton and Diane Brown 2022

The BSL's applied systemic change guide draws on extensive experience from research, policy and practice to provide the essential ideas, practices and tools to create deep and lasting change in human services.

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By David Longley and Kira Clarke 2022

Despite being the most common form of employment-based training, Australian apprenticeships are not living up to their promise.

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By Miranda Cross 2020

This paper identifies the range of current government-funded employment programs for which young people may be eligible.

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By Sharon Bond and Deborah Keys 2020

What works to achieve effective employment services for young people? This report presents lessons from the evaluation of the Transition to Work Community of Practice

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Selected projects

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This applied research initiative will test a place-based approach to the interconnected challenges of rural workforce shortages, sustained youth unemployment and declining efficacy of existing agricultural training programs.

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This study focuses on a BSL initiative to increase participation in mainstream employment for people with disability.

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This research is part of a coherent, multi-sectoral response to youth unemployment.

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Developing a pathway for young people into aged care and disability support

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A research project evaluating three new Education First Youth Foyers in Victoria

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A research project providing new insights into enabling young people to pursue their employment goals, place based responses to youth unemployment, and collaborative ways of working

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A project giving young people the freedom to take photographs that represent their experiences of education or employment

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What are some keys to helping young people to gain planning and independent living skills?

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Looking for services related to youth?

Three young smiling people outside BSL Kangan youth foyer

Education First Youth Foyers are integrated learning and accommodation centres that develop the skills of young people at risk of homelessness.

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One woman being interviewed by another

The Better Futures service is a new way of supporting young people who are making the transition from out-of-home care to independence.

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NDIS recipient at his job

Our approach to working with people with disability focuses on building a sense of wellbeing and autonomy. We recognise the importance of family, friends, carers and community.

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David Scott School students in school grounds

Our David Scott School is a registered, independent school for disadvantaged young people. It opened its doors in early 2017 to Year 10, 11 and 12 students.

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Smiling young man participating in group learning activity

Our Youth Transitions Support Pilot Program helps young refugees participate in the community through work, education and sport.

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Smiling young woman participating in group learning activity

Creating Futures for Youth empowers young people to pursue their career goals and build their capacity to work or undertake further learning.

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Looking for work but not sure where to start? Get in touch with our Jobs Victoria Advocates today.

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