NFPs put on notice for ReBoot program procurement as part of Morrison’s vision for disadvantaged youth

By Melissa Coade

Monday March 21, 2022

Josh Frydenberg
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Expert service providers are being asked by bureaucrats to apply to deliver a new government initiative in the form of a work program for ‘disadvantaged and disengaged’ youths.

The ReBoot program will receive $46.8 million over four years from the 2022-23 federal budget for services expected to begin rolling out early next year. 

Expert not-for-profits (NFPs) have been invited to apply for the competitive procurement process that will support people ‘overcome obstacles’ and find work in a 12-week program to build participants’ capability and aspirations. 

In a joint statement issued by treasurer Josh Frydenberg, minister for employment, workforce, skills, small and family business Stuart Robert and assistant minister for youth and employment services Luke Howarth, the MPs said the ReBoot plan would help to deliver a ‘stronger future’ for Australia. 

Robert, who is also the acting minister for education and youth, said for young people to be attractive candidates for work, they needed to be self-motivated. He said the program aimed to support youth who had so far failed to demonstrate a sense of purpose or control over their lives.

“Young people who do not exhibit characteristics such as a positive attitude and reliability are generally disengaged and not actively participating in employment or training pathways; however, the government’s ReBoot will directly target this group,” Robert said. 

Last week Robert made headlines for his controversial and elitist remarks at a private school conference on that ‘dud’ teachers in Australia’s public school system were responsible for a national decline in academic results. The minister, who is himself is a product of a private education, told a national forum of educators from Independent Schools Australia and Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia that they did not suffer from poor teaching quality because they were empowered to ‘hire and fire’ their own teaching staff.

The ReBoot program will include hands-on learning, mentoring and work experience opportunities with industry. Policy designers hope the tailored, community-focused early interventions will serve as a solution to long-term unemployment experienced by some individuals. 

“Participants will then be in a better position to engage with existing youth employment programs to continue their pathway to training or employment,” Robert explained.

The treasurer said it was an opportune time in Australia’s history to kick-start a program like ReBoot given the current 4% unemployment rate. The initiative was part of the government’s ‘generational skilling’ plan, he added, citing the importance of good physical and mental health, exercise and social connectedness to be resilient in the face of long-term unemployment.

“With job advertisements at their highest level since August 2008 and more people getting into work, the government is delivering on our plan for a stronger future,” Frydenberg said. 

According to Howarth, ReBoot would complement other existing youth employment measures.

“Youth Jobs PaTH program, worth $445 million over five years, has also provided more than 139,000 young people with employability skills training, internships and job placements since its inception in 2017,” he said.


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