Y Australia appoints inaugural Executive Director of Y Careers
The Sector > Workforce > Personnel Appointments > Y Australia appoints inaugural Executive Director of Y Careers

Y Australia appoints inaugural Executive Director of Y Careers

by Freya Lucas

January 30, 2023

Amaresh Devanesen has been selected as the Inaugural Executive Director of the newly established Y Careers Agency, which will focus on creating new career pathways and meaningful employment opportunities for young people in the rapidly changing care economy, including early childhood education and care (ECEC).


Y Careers seeks to address some of the challenges Australia is currently facing when it comes to the national shortage of workers in the care sector across child-care (sic.), disability care and aged care.


“Y Careers is a pro-active intervention to ensure meaningful work for young people in contributing to the care and support of children, their parents, seniors, and those with additional needs, in the decades ahead,” explained Y Careers Chair Andrew Smith.


“Designed with a consortium of experienced tech, learning, job matching and employer partners, the Y Careers model is already breaking new ground. We are delighted to welcome Amaresh Devanesen into this critical new leadership role, as the Executive Director of our new enterprise,” he added.


Workforce estimates suggest the Australian care sector will need one million additional workers over the next 10 years.


At the same time, youth unemployment remains more than double the average, with the disproportionate participation of young people in the ‘gig economy’ also contributing to higher ongoing levels of underemployment.


Established as a Charity in 2022, Y Careers will help to address this situation by creating a pipeline of next generation workers for employers in the care industry, through a program that provides young people with:


  • A two-year traineeship
  • The support and coaching of a Career Agent
  • A choice of placements in a variety of care sector roles and organisations (while having the stability of one employer – Y Careers).


Through $15.2 million of establishment funding (committed by the Federal Government for FY23), Y Careers will build a much-needed pipeline of 15,000 young workers over the next five years, across the care sectors outlined above. 


Mr Devanesen joins Y Careers from AFL SportsReady with a strong operational and commercial background across the vocational education, for purpose, employment and hospitality sectors. 


He also serves on the Board for Black Duck Group, a First Nations start-up and incubator of young indigenous entrepreneurs, demonstrating his passion for entrepreneurship and enabling young people.


“Amaresh’s passion for working with young people, his deep expertise in training and business development; his authentic, inclusive and highly collaborative leadership style, and his proactive, entrepreneurial mindset is the unique combination of capabilities we were looking for in our Inaugural Executive Director of Y Careers,” said Y Australia Group CEO Tal Karp.


The Y Careers initiative has backing and seed funding from the Y Australia, Paul Ramsay and Macquarie Group Foundations, along with an election commitment to fund the establishment of Y Careers by the current government. 


Mr Devanesen said he is “very excited” to lead the Australian first initiative, and that he is personally inspired by the Y Careers Vision of enabling young people and building a pipeline of care workers.


As one of the largest employers of young people across the country, Y Australia is well placed to lead on an enterprise with a new approach to building a care workforce fit for the future.


Mr Devanesen will start his new role in early February.

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