Mutual investment for mutual benefit: activating employers to shift young people’s career trajectories

Sharon Bond and Marion Coddou

How can we enable employer engagement in youth employment solutions?

At a glance

This short report draws on the experience of the Transition to Work Community of Practice as a primary case study of activating employers. The TtW CoP was a group of youth employment service providers across Australia that collaborated on a common service model that harnessed community investment to provide employment opportunities for young people aligned with their strengths and aspirations.

Dive deeper

The report takes a systems perspective on employer engagement and activation. It draws on systems theory to consider how the employment services system facilitates or constrains active employer development of young jobseekers. It argues that shifting employers’ roles in youth employment requires a change in:

  • system mindsets, reframing the development of disadvantaged jobseekers from individual and social responsibility to mutual investment for mutual benefit
  • system feedbacks, enabling employers and jobseekers to develop mutually beneficial working arrangements and access supports
  • system governance, leveraging new local to national organising structures integrating the perspectives of employers, jobseekers, training providers, community services and policymakers.

The report also highlights practical strategies used by the TtW CoP and its successor, the National Youth Employment Body , to catalyse change.

Last updated on 18 September 2023