Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

Improving the lives of young carers

Three trial initiatives to improve the lives of young carers and help reduce the risk of long term welfare dependency have been selected in the first tranche of the Turnbull Government’s Try, Test and Learn Fund.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the trial initiatives which are the first part of what will be a series of pilot projects to be supported under the $96.1 million Fund, which will use insights from the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare data platforms.

“Today I am announcing three new initiatives that focus on helping young carers prepare for a future beyond their carer responsibilities and work towards meaningful and sustainable long term employment,” Minister Porter said.

“Firstly, we will invest $2.1 million in the Perth-based Data-driven job opportunities for young carers initiative–which will see an online platform that uses data analytics and augmented intelligence to match guaranteed job opportunities and training with young carers.

“We will also dedicate $800,000 to the Skills for micro-enterprise Melbourne-based initiative, which will enable young carers to learn relevant skills to create and run small businesses.

“And $840,000 will be allocated to the Carer Achievement Pathway Western Sydney-based initiative, which will include a range of support, including an online portal, to help carers achieve their career aspirations.”

Young carers are one of three priority groups that have been identified in the Coalition Government’s Priority Investment Approach to Welfare, along with young students and young parents. The Priority Investment Approach seeks to apply a newly created welfare data system to identify key groups at the highest risk of long term welfare dependency and use the same data platforms to design and measure programs designed to increase employment and independence from the welfare system.

Tranche 1 provides funding towards initiatives that help these groups break the cycle of welfare dependency by moving into education or employment opportunities.

“Priority Investment Approach data confirms that our young people need to be a Government focus–in particular our young carers, who, on average, are expected to be on income support in 43 years over their lifetime,” Minister Porter said.

“If nothing changes, 1800 current young carers will remain continuously on income support for the rest of their lives.

“For the first time, Government is fully harnessing the power of data, evidence and evaluation to reform Australia’s welfare system and improve people’s lives.

“The Try, Test and Learn Fund is about creating innovative and collaborative policy responses, targeted at critical points in people’s lives to help break cycles of welfare dependency.

“The three initiatives announced today will be tracked and measured using a range of evaluation methods, such as surveys, participant interviews and the actuarial analysis based on the new Priority Investment Approach data system.”

More projects tailored to the other two initial priority groups, young parents and young students at risk of long terms unemployment will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information on funded young carer initiatives