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ENGAGE is a youth philanthropy program of the Give Where You Live Foundation in partnership with Barwon Child, Youth & Family and Gforce Employment Solutions. The program educates and empowers young people age 15-25 years old in the G21 region to effect positive change, by identifying youth issues that are important to them and making grants to organisations working on these issues.

In 2017 ENGAGE is working with 12 diverse young people from across the region.Working with the partner organisations the young people have identified an issue focus for this year (the causes of youth unemployment) and have developed an application and review process to assist them in making grant recommendations to the Give Where You Live Board.

2017 Issue – The Causes of Youth Unemployment

Getting a job for today’s youth is much more challenging than it was for their parents or grandparents. Nationally more than 650,000 young people were unemployed or underemployed (defined as having some work but wanting more hours) in February 2017. (Generation Stalled: Young, Underemployed and Living Precariously in Australia, March 2017)

The Geelong region has been especially hard hit by this issue. Geelong is among the top 20 regions with the highest youth unemployment in the nation. (Australia’s Youth Unemployment Hotspots SNAPSHOTS, March 2016). In the last year alone, youth unemployment in the Geelong region has almost doubled shooting up to 9.9 per cent in the latest ABS figures — from 5.7 per cent at the same time last year. (Geelong Advertiser, June 28, 2017).

To compound this issue, unemployment is not experienced equally by all young people. At risk young people, including those with a disability, of aboriginal descent, with carer responsibilities, from low socio-economic communities and those who have dropped out of school are more likely to experience unemployment and for longer periods of time than their peers.

Many of these disadvantaged young people experience individual barriers to employment, such as drug and alcohol abuse, unstable housing or limited access to education or transport, that compound their risk of unemployment. (Fundamental Principals for Youth Unemployment, September 2015)

2017 Grants

In 2017 ENGAGE will provide small grants of $5,000-$15,000 to help organisations that are seeking to impact the causes of youth unemployment including, but not limited to: transportation issues, including lack of a driver’s license; lack of awareness and access to job seeking resources, networks and skills by young people; lack of opportunities to gain work experience and skills for young people: adult attitudes and bias towards young workers: lack of post job support and mentoring for young people; disengagement from education by young people; individual barriers to employment for young people including drug/alcohol abuse, unstable housing and mental health issues.

These grants are open to not for profit organisation, incorporated bodies, schools cooperatives, associations or registered charitable organisations who have an ABN and are considered tax exempt and/or endorsed as a Tax Concession Charity in the G21 region(Borough of Queenscliffe, City of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Surf Coast Shire).

Applications must be submitted via the online application form by 3:00pm Thursday, 28 September, 2017.






For questions about the 2017 ENGAGE program or grants please contact Cynthia Scherer via email or phone (03) 5229-4364.