Programme 2.7 Youth Support

The Government is committed to supporting young people to reach their full potential and make a successful transition from school to further education, training or work.

Youth attainment and transitions

The National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions concluded on 31 December 2013. This three-year National Partnership aimed to increase the educational engagement and attainment of young people to improve transitions.

In 2013, the proportion of 20- to 24-year-olds with at least a Year 12 or Certificate II qualification increased by 0.8 percentage points (from 85.9 per cent in 2012 to 86.7 per cent in 2013). Growth in attainment rates still needs to accelerate over 2014 and 2015 in order to meet COAG targets. However, there are some positive signs that the proportion of 15- to 19-year-olds participating in full-time education and training is increasing—participation increased from 69.5 per cent in 2009 to 75.9 per cent in 2013.

Results reported under the Youth Connections programme reflect the outcomes achieved for early school leavers.

School Business Community Partnership Brokers operate in 107 regions to support partnerships between schools, business and the broader community to meet the needs of young people in their region. As at December 2013, there were over 1700 active and self-sustaining partnerships associated with partnership brokers nationally, excluding Victoria,11 involving more than 5600 partner organisations.

11 In Victoria, the Partnership Brokers programme was delivered through the Victorian Government’s Local Learning and Employment Network.

Youth engagement

The Government oversees a number of initiatives that assist young people in making an effective transition to adulthood while they continue to learn, commence work and make decisions that support a healthy lifestyle.


The Government contributed to a number of international youth initiatives in 2013–14. As part of Australia’s presidency of the G20 in 2014, a Y20 Summit will be hosted on 12–15 July 2014 in Sydney. The Y20 is the official G20 engagement group for young people, and the department has provided secretariat support to the Y20 Planning Group responsible for organising the summit.

Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies

The current contract between the Government and the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies provides information for young people through library and helpdesk services, a comprehensive website and a monthly newsletter.

Feature Story

Feature Story: National Youth Awards—Tylah Schmidt

At the age of 14, Tylah Schmidt was the youngest finalist at the 2014 National Youth Awards. Along with 25 other finalists, Tylah attended the presentation dinner in Canberra on 10 April 2014 during National Youth Week.

On the night, Tylah was announced as the winner of the Personal Courage Award in recognition of her resilience when facing difficult obstacles. Tylah suffered school bullying but became a mentor to other young people regarding the effects of bullying, thereby educating and inspiring others. Tylah turned a negative experience into a positive one by producing a presentation, which includes her life story and video, about the effects of bullying and being judged. This presentation has received positive feedback from community groups and will be used to further the anti-bullying campaigns of Tylah’s local community.

The 2014 National Youth Awards have allowed Tylah and other recipients and finalists to gain recognition and to celebrate outstanding achievements and hard work.

National Youth Awards recipient Tylah Schmidt with Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, 10 April 2014.
National Youth Awards recipient Tylah Schmidt with Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, 10 April 2014.

National Youth Week and National Youth Awards

National Youth Week is an annual joint Australian, state, territory and local government initiative that celebrates and recognises the value of all young Australians to their communities. National Youth Week 2014 was held from 4 to 13 April. Its theme was ‘Our Voice. Our Impact’. Events were attended by thousands of young people across the country.

The National Youth Awards celebrate and recognise young Australians aged 12–25 years. The inaugural awards were presented on 6 August 2013 following their announcement during National Youth Week 2013. The second round of awards was presented during National Youth Week on 10 April 2014. Future rounds will continue to be presented during National Youth Week at the national celebration event.

Young Australian of the Year Award

The Government is the principal sponsor of the Young Australian of the Year Award. In 2014, the department hosted the first official event on the National Australia Day Council’s calendar of events—a congratulatory afternoon tea for the finalists of the Young Australian of the Year Award.

Australian Youth Forum

The Australian Youth Forum was established in 2008 as a communication channel between the Government, young people and the youth sector. The Australian Youth Forum Steering Committee was composed of 10 young Australians, including a representative from each state and territory and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition. The steering committee’s term ended on 31 December 2013.

Positive Body Image Awards

The recipients of the Positive Body Image Awards were announced in August 2013. The awards recognised the positive steps taken by fashion, media and entertainment, health and wellbeing, and advertising industry organisations and individuals to promote positive body image messages to young people, in line with the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct.


The Government co-sponsors Heywire, an Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( ABC) Radio initiative that provides an opportunity for rural and remote young people to voice their stories. Every year each ABC regional station chooses a winning entry to represent their region. Winners are invited to take part in the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra. Following the summit, Heywire ideas are promoted to rural and regional areas for adoption. In 2014, Heywire and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal have partnered to offer $100,000 in seed funding grants which will be shared between community groups and used to assist them to adopt and implement ideas.

National Awards for Local Government

The National Awards for Local Government recognise and promote the innovative work of local governments across Australia and are important in supporting the Government’s partnership with local government. The Government sponsored the Youth Employment category in 2014, which recognises councils that empower young people to take part in their communities.

Performance information

The effectiveness of the Government’s youth transition and support services was measured with reference to their impact on participation rates of young people in education, the Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates, and the number of young people achieving real outcomes within the two programmes. These outcomes were reported in an evaluation of the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions undertaken by a consultant, dandolopartners. The report is available on the department’s website.

Table 11: Programme 2.7 Youth Support performance information

Youth Attainment and Transitions

Deliverables 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Progress towards 2015 COAG target of 90 per cent Year 12 equivalent attainment No targets 86.70%
Number of young people for whom outcomes are achieved through support provided by the Youth Connections Programme 20,000 19,400a
Number of regions that School Business Community Partnership Brokers support (delivered through 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks in Victoria) 107 107

Note: The data is provided by calendar year (e.g. the 2013 –14 data relates to the 2013 calendar year).

a This figure includes final outcomes (over a 13 week period) and progressive outcomes, measured against a number of criteria including, but not limited to, improved attendance at school, improved performance at school, minimising barriers that lead to disengagement and an increase in the individual’s personal self-worth. There is no formal data collection in place after participants exit the programme, therefore the number of participants who continued to engage with education, training or employment after they exit the programme is not known.

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education, at East Torrens Primary School, South Australia, on Harmony Day / National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, March 2014.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education, at East Torrens Primary School, South Australia, on Harmony Day / National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, March 2014. (From left to right: the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, school captains Georgia Polcino and Jake Catalano, and Principal Meredith Starkey.)