Youth Employment Initiatives

We all benefit when young people thrive

Families, communities, businesses, governments – we all benefit when young people have the skills they need to transition successfully to meaningful employment.

But nearly 30% of young people in Australia are unemployed or underemployed and this figure is significantly worse in suburbs of postcodes of disadvantage, with early school leavers among the most vulnerable job seekers.

We believe that the postcode people are born in should not determine their destiny, that the causes underlying youth unemployment in communities of disadvantage are complex and that no single organisation can solve these issues alone. We need to work together to ensure every young person thrives at school and in later life.

Our goal is that every school leaver in communities of disadvantage is engaged in a pathway to meaningful employment.

Here’s how we’re working with businesses, schools, students, community and supporters like you to achieve change.


United Way facilitates community collaborations in areas of high socio-economic disadvantage, where complex and often multi-generational issues influence youth employment.

Our staff are on the ground in these communities, mobilising businesses, training organisations, social services, families and government to better support schools to ensure young people transition successfully to employment. As our work with schools over the past five years has revealed student disengagement starts early, these initiatives target high school students from grade seven right through to grade 12. They include mentorships, skills-building workshops, and careers advice and practical support.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is a key component in preparing students for their adult life. If students have control over their money and can budget for real-life situations they are more likely to lead happier and more successful lives.

United Way Australia partnered with ING DIRECT to create a free online teacher resource that is aligned with the Australian high school curriculum. The Financial Literacy Toolkit uses practical, everyday examples to bring concepts to life, preparing students financially for life after high school.


Ready to Succeed

Focused on youth employment, the Ready to Succeed toolkit was developed through our most recent Community Collaboration with high schools, industry/government departments and community service providers.

Designed to support Career Advisors and Transition to Work Coordinators, United Way’s toolkit assists high school students in their career planning towards a successful transition to meaningful work and/or further training and education.