Media Release by The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Mentors helping kick-start careers

Joint Media Release with:

  • Member for Swan, Steve Irons MP

Jobless youth at risk of long-term unemployment in Perth will be paired with mature volunteer mentors to improve their chances of finding and keeping a job, as part of an innovative trial.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan and Member for Swan Steve Irons today announced the Mentoring 2 Work trial, where up to 360 people will take part in group sessions and one-on-one mentoring over a six-month period to improve their job-seeking skills and work readiness.

Young, unemployed people are at risk of long-term welfare dependency, with 39 per cent at risk of receiving income support payments in 10 years, and 30 per cent at risk of receiving income support payments in 20 years.

Mr Tehan said the Government was providing $2 million to the Council on the Ageing Western Australia (COTA WA) to run the trial over two years, as part of the Turnbull Government’s $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund.

“The Turnbull Government is focused on helping young people off welfare and into work,” Mr Tehan said.

“The economy created more than 1,000 jobs a day last year; work gives meaning to people’s lives by providing self-respect and purpose.

“The Turnbull Government is funding innovative trials to help Australians at-risk of welfare dependency into work.

“A positive role model with experience of work can help our young people build their confidence and life skills, make decisions, prepare for interviews and find the right job.”

Mr Irons called on members of the Swan community to become volunteer mentors and share their experience with young people.

“My message to the community is to get involved. The program is designed to be a rewarding experience for participants,” Mr Irons said.

“If you have some time and are interested in becoming a mentor, contact my office for some more information, or COTA WA which is running the trial.”

COTA WA CEO Mark Teale said the trial would partner organisations that were passionate about assisting young people into work.

“We know that jobs improve lives and young people want jobs,” Mr Teale said.

Mentoring 2 Work will match young people with a mentor, to help them identify career options and to equip them with knowledge about life in the workplace.

“These mentors can help kick-start a young person’s career by sharing practical advice based on their professional work experience, such as how to prepare for a job interview, approach your first day of work or deal with difficult colleagues or bosses.”

Unemployed former students and volunteers with strong business and workplace connections interested in taking part in this program should visit

Tranche two of the Try, Test and Learn Fund is open for submissions, with $50 million available for trial initiatives that improve people’s lives and reduce welfare dependency. Submissions will be accepted up to 2pm AEST, 28 September 2018, via the Community Grants Hub.

More information about the Try, Test and Learn Fund can be found on the Department of Social Services’ website.