Y Careers

In May 2022. the Y secured a funding commitment of $15.2 M from the Albanese Labor Government that, if elected, they would partner with us to establish Y Careers. See the announcement video here:

Y Careers will create 15,000 places nationally over five years, supplying meaningful, secure employment and opportunities for young people in the care economy.

The aim is to help address two pressing issues impacting communities nationwide:

  1. Youth underemployment and unemployment, which at 8.4% is currently more than double that of the national unemployment rate of 3.5%. (Sept, 2022)
  2. The critical shortage of care workers across Australia in childcare, disability and aged care sectors.

Currently there are many barriers facing younger Australians looking at a career in the care economy – shift work and irregular hours, juggling multiple employers to obtain enough hours each week, the need to train and obtain qualifications whilst working, multiple superannuation accounts, and a lack of a visible career path.

The current training and education system also doesn’t adequately introduce or support young Australians into care careers. This is an obvious missed opportunity when considering the pipeline of workers required for these careers.

Y Careers will dismantle these barriers and create opportunities. It will put in place practical and immediate support for younger Australians and those struggling to deliver care services due to the workforce shortage.

The Y operates outside school hours care services, child care, youth services, disability, health and well-being and community services and is already a significant employer of young people.  Over half of our current 11,500 employees are young people – and we’re in over 650 communities around Australia, including in the 42 ‘hot spots’ that our research identified had higher than average levels of youth unemployment and high care needs.

Many of these areas (17 out of 42) are in regional areas and we already have Ys in most of these.   This makes us uniquely placed to offer secure jobs and career development wrap-around services to younger Australians.

The Y Careers program will create 15,000 places to set young Australians up for a career in the care economy by helping them get the qualifications required, career guidance and support, and the shifts and hours they need.

We will build long-term sustainable careers for younger Australians by changing the way workers in the predominately casualised care economy are employed.

Y Careers was co-designed with younger Australians and organisations in the care economy.

The Federal Government will partner with Y Australia to invest in the setup of the Y Careers initiative providing the IT, physical infrastructure and development and acquisition of micro-credentials for training and learning needed to run the program. The Y will recruit young people, pay salaries as their employer, as well as provide a range of tailored supports for young people and coordinate their work placements and training program.

How will Y Careers work?

When operational, Y Careers will provide end-to-end supported work placement and skills development for young employees to support the development of their career portfolios in the care economy:

Y Careers will ensure also that the young person is encouraged to enrol in relevant micro credentials, short courses, tertiary courses and apprenticeships to support their career portfolio development.

For young people, it provides a way to navigate the complex, uncertain, ever-changing jobs market. As a Y Careers employee, young people will receive in-person and online coaching to support their personal placement and learning plan.

For employers, it will ensure young employees are fit-for-purpose, in developing the suite of skills now so valued by employers across multiple sectors and support specific on the job skill requirements in partnership with the employer. Government funding support will also be navigated for eligible young people in the area of wage support and training.

What is a ‘Career Portfolio’?

The Y’s focus in developing young people’s career portfolios is not the traditional approach as the career ladder metaphor no longer reflects the nature of the job market.

Under a career portfolio approach, we shift our focus from jobs to skills and capabilities that prepare young people for being able to optimally engage with their work. This enables young people to unlock more diverse work opportunities and apply their skills laterally.

Key elements and services

  • Wraparound employment support
  • Job matching and placement
  • Career coaching
  • Ongoing training and learning

When will Y Care Careers start operating? 

It is anticipated that Y Careers will launch in early 2023.


If you would like to stay informed about Y Careers, please follow us on LinkedIn.  Or email us via contact@the-y.org.au

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