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The Social Studio

Focus Area: Migrant and Indigenous Community Welfare

Organisation: The Social Studio

Programme: NGEN! Youth Development Programme

Number of People Involved: 50 Young People from Refugee Backgrounds

The Social Studio is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2005 to address the needs of at-risk young people from refugee and migrant communities. Operating from Smith Street in Collingwood, the Social Studio is a practical learning hub that aims to give students transferable skills and experience across fashion, retail, hospitality, and digital design through TAFE training, work experience and employment programmes.

Young people from new and emerging refugee and migrant communities face significant challenges in pursuing education and training in Australia. Language barriers can have an impact. They may have missed education in the past and struggle to keep up, or they might not be at the required level for Australia’s age-based system.

Alternative models such as social enterprise and vocational training aim to overcome these difficulties. The Social Studio saw a need to expand their programme to reach more young people.

They developed NGEN! (Next Generation), a personal and professional development programme that provides an alternative pathway into the workplace or as a conduit to further training.NGEN! includes a flexible drop-in programme, supported by a Youth Coordinator to assist participants with their development priorities. These might include literacy and homework support, resume writing, arranging work experience or job searches. The success of the NGEN! project was dependent on securing funding to support the employment of a Youth Coordinator. The Bennelong Foundation has been able to provide funding so that a Youth Coordinator can be employed for three days a week.

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