Launch into Work could be the answer to workforce shortage for some ECEC services

Launch into Work could be the answer to workforce shortage for some ECEC services

by Freya Lucas

May 10, 2022

Launch into Work, an initiative of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) could be the answer to the workforce shortage challenge being experienced by many early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. 

 

The program supports the delivery of pre-employment projects that prepare job seekers for specific entry-level roles with an organisation, and the projects are co-designed with employers and tailored to the needs of the business. This ensures that job seekers build the skills, experience and confidence they need to commence in entry-level roles.

 

Primarily focused on creating long-term employment pathways for women, Launch into Work will be expanded and extended to June 2028, and has a specific project profile for the ECEC sector. 

Employers may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 per job seeker if the job seeker has been employed for the required period and averages 20 hours per week over a six-month period once employed. 

How does the program work? 

 

Interested organisations with entry-level vacancies email DESE at workforce@dese.gov.au  

 

The Department will then work with the ECEC provider to co-design a project, tailored to the service’s specific vacancies, that includes a program for the job seeker which gives them:

 

  • Work experience
  • Training
  • Mentoring.

 

Services are then able to choose job seekers to participate in the project based on their potential to meet the requirements of the vacancies and their values and attributes. 

 

The service then signs a project agreement with the Department, delivers the project, and agrees to employ all participants who successfully complete the project.

 

Choosing the right candidates

 

During the screening and selection stage services give an information session for job network providers and job seekers which include details about the ECEC service, the roles available, and what type of person the service is looking for. 

 

In an ECEC context, values and attributes which a service is seeking could include: 

 

  • Interest in the care of children and their developmental needs 
  • Team players 
  • Positive attitude
  • Communication
  • Willingness to undertake shift work (e.g. early starts or split shifts) .

Services can also include police clearance, working with vulnerable people check, drug and alcohol testing, having a driver’s license or capacity to get to work independently and a language, literacy and numeracy assessment as part of the selection stage. 

Training phase

 

During training, participants in the program develop the skills they need to become job ready for their employment. A preferred RTO could deliver core components from a training package such as the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

 

Further professional development that might aid a job seeker in being successful in the sector could also include non-accredited training that provides soft skill training for participants, such as managing workplace stress, conflict resolution or nutritional development. 

 

Support and mentoring

 

The mentoring phase ensures that project participants are provided support and guidance during the project so they are best positioned to complete the project and transition to employment. 

 

Many aspects of the mentoring phase will be familiar to those in the sector, but may include a buddy system, engaging an external mentor, or providing mentor training for supervisors. 

 

During this phase services may also offer the job seeker the opportunity to complete core aspects of the role under supervision, or conducting simulated activities. 

 

Completing the project and moving to work

 

Once a job seeker has completed the project successfully they can be offered casual, part-time or full-time work, as long as the hours they are given are sufficient to allow them to move off income support. 

 

Employers may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 per job seeker if the job seeker has been employed for the required period and averages 20 hours per week over a six-month period once employed. This can help subsidise the early months of training. Employment options can include apprenticeships and traineeship. 

 

To learn more about Launch into Work and how it can support the ECEC sector, please see here. 

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