Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce

The Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce was established in 2017 in response to high rates of youth disengagement and unemployment in Greater Dandenong. The Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce brought together representatives from all levels of government, business and industry, community services and the education sector.

This short-term taskforce met between May and October 2017, with the resulting Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce Action Plan launched in November 2017. The Action Plan identifies key priorities and critical gaps where collective action is needed to respond to youth disengagement.

Download a copy of the Action Plan here (PDF - 2.32 MB)

Key Initiatives

The key initiatives to arise from the Action Plan include:


This event is designed to connect young job seekers with employers offering real job opportunities, using a speed interviewing format. Following a successful pilot event in May 2018, further events are planned for August and September 2018.

On Track

Youth and Family Services are working closely with the South East Local Learning and Employment Network (SE LLEN) to provide a coordinated calendar of support available to young school leavers who are identified through the On Track survey as looking for employment six months after finishing Year 12.

Parent Engagement

The Taskforce acknowledged the impact of generational disadvantage and unemployment, and committed to undertake a pilot project with vulnerable families to promote a 'whole of family' approach to improving employment outcomes. Through a partnership with the Greater Dandenong Business Unit and the Community Revitalization Project, jobseekers are being linked to the Careers Education Association of Victoria (CEAV) where they have the opportunity to meet with a guidance counsellor for one-to-one intensive support. The jobseeker will complete an Employment Readiness Scale, and work with their guidance counsellor to develop a jobseeker activity plan.

Early intervention

Taskforce members agreed to advocate for the initiatives (such as the Navigator program) that support young people’s reengagement in education. It is pleasing to note that the 2018-19 State Government Budget provides a further $44 million to expand Navigator beyond the current pilot sites, ensuring all students in Victoria have access to the program.

Other key employment initiatives

Youth and Family Services are also actively involved in a number of other key initiatives to enhance the work and career prospects of young people in Greater Dandenong. These include:

Work Inspirations

This two-day program is delivered in partnership with the YMCA and offers young people an opportunity to explore different career options through a highly interactive program of activities including mentoring, personal development, workplace visits and work readiness workshops. Work Inspirations is available to up to 30, year 10 students each year.

Kitchen Challenge

Kitchen Challenge is an opportunity for young people to develop leadership and team work skills through cooking in a commercial kitchen. Working alongside local business representatives, participants will work towards the delivery of a gourmet three-course meal for local stakeholders, and explore personal pathways and goals. Kitchen Challenge is a partnership with Greater Dandenong Business and is funded by VicHealth. Programs will commence in Dandenong in August and October 2018.

Apprenticeship and traineeship forum

This event offers young people an opportunity to explore the range of apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities available; and to gain a better understanding of the benefits of these pathways. Targeted primarily at Year 9 and 10 students considering their education and career pathway, the event is also open to young people who are not currently engaged in education or employment.


Where young people may lack paid work experience, volunteering offers an opportunity to develop transferable skills. Youth and Family Services are facilitating the three-day IMPACT program in October, to link young people with volunteer organisations and trial hands-on volunteer opportunities in a range of settings. A volunteering expo will also be held in October to further promote and link young people to local volunteering opportunities.

For further information about any of these initiatives, please contact Youth and Family Services on 9793 2155.