Australia - Career Transition Assistance Program
A group programme designed to increase awareness of local opportunities and the skills needed for those jobs
Who did it?
This programme was developed by the Australian Government to address the specific challenges faced by older jobseekers and to improve provision of tailored employment services for people aged 45+. As part of Workforce Australia, the programme was delivered by local employment and skills organisations.
Where are we drawing the evidence from?
Information sourced from:
The Career Transition Assistance Program 2019–2021 Evaluation Report, produced by Wallis Social Research and ACIL Allen Consulting and commissioned by the (former) Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment:
What kind of support was it?
The programme was an 8-week course with a minimum of 75 hours of training, of which at least 50 hours needed to be in a group setting. It aimed to build confidence and resilience; increase awareness of local opportunities and the skills needed for those jobs; identify transferable skills; develop digital skills and to set clear goals and develop a realistic strategy to achieve them.
Where did it run?
The programme was rolled out nationally following a trial based in 5 regions: Adelaide South, South Australia; Ballarat, Victoria; Central West, New South Wales; Perth North, Western Australia; and Somerset, Queensland.
When did it run?
July 2018 – trial in 5 regions began
July 2019 – national programme rolled out
Who did it serve?
The trial programme was aimed at 50+ jobseekers. The age for eligibility was reduced to 45 for the full roll out in 2019. Participants needed to be referred by their ‘jobactive’ provider
What were its key features?
- Participation was voluntary and could contribute towards the Points Based Activation System (each jobseeker has a ‘points target’ which they must meet in order to retain their benefits). This was seen as key to success, as applicants were self-motivated to attend as opposed to participating for compliance reasons
- An individual career assessment and development of a Career Pathway Plan (compulsory element)
- Practical support with résumés, identifying transferable skills relevant to local jobs, local job searches, interview skills
- Functional Digital Literacy training to increase participants’ knowledge and confidence in using digital equipment and devices to apply for jobs and for use in the workplace
- A ‘warm handover’ meeting between the participant, the CTA provider and the jobactive provider to discuss the Career Pathway Plan
- Improved engagement with employers and different industries
What were its outcomes?
- Both participants and providers appreciated the level of flexibility and tailoring of service afforded by the programme structure
- Key to successful delivery were the effective and well-trained facilitators who not only had expertise in job searching but could also engage, motivate and build self-confidence in participants as well as being empathetic to their needs. Participants felt like they were treated with respect and dignity which fostered a sense of self-worth.
- The combination of job search skills with digital literacy training whilst addressing multiple barriers faced by older jobseekers was good. The programme was also able to navigate the structural adjustment in the economy and then focus on transferable skills to enable participants to change pathway and find employment in a different sector
- The value of group training sessions was emphasised. These strengthened engagement and social interaction offering support and empathy for their situation. this was particularly valuable to long-term unemployed people who may have become socially isolated. Research showed that some of these groups sustained beyond securing employment.
- Some providers were independent organisations while others were also a jobactive provider. The intention was that providers would work closely with jobactive providers to ensure the best referral process. Initial problems relating to the funding model were addressed which saw an increase in the number of referrals
- Between 1 July 2019 and 31 March 2021, 11,085 people were referred to the programme, of whom 75% (8,407) commenced the course. 71% of participants reported completing the course (although data from providers was not available to corroborate this)