20Squared Project 2018-07-05T00:27:43+00:00

EMPOWERING YOUTH INITIATIVE – 20SQUARED PROJECT


The Federal Department of Employment recently announced 20 successful first round Empowering YOUth initiative projects – four of these were in Victoria. We are proud to run the ‘20Squared Project’ as one of the four announced projects, with a focus on Broadmeadows and Colac, involving young people as co-creators in the design and development of an interactive virtual work experience game.

Workforce Plus is a small Incorporated Association located in Victoria, with a purpose to foster innovative solutions to complex issues faced by communities, with a key focus on the transition of young people, particularly disadvantaged young people, into sustainable employment.

The Workforce Plus 20Squared project proposes to engage early school leavers who are at risk of long-term unemployment and in the design and development of a Virtual Work Experience multimedia game – 20Squared.

The target group for Empowering Youth Initiatives is young people aged 15-24 years who are long-term unemployed (unemployed for 12 months or more), or at risk of becoming long term unemployed.

To be eligible young people will need to be from the above target group, either a resident of Colac or Broadmeadows and meet at least one of the below criteria:

  • An Early school leaver;
  • From an indigenous background;
  • From a Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Background;
  • Living with a disability;
  • Have an illness impacting their ability to secure employment;
  • Have been unemployed for a continuous period of six months or more.

The aim is to provide young people with an insight into, and the confidence to engage with work through playing the 20Squared game prior to entering real Work Experience.

The project is to be delivered over 2-years involving 4-phases.

Phase 1 & 2 will be delivered over the first 12 months involving two ‘6-monthly intakes’ of 10 young people in each location (Broadmeadows & Colac) to work with employers from the Health Care & Social Assistance sector in the design and development of a prototype Virtual Reality Work Experience game, with a specific focus on the disability services sector.

It is proposed 20 young people be recruited from Broadmeadows (10) and Colac (10) in the first 6 months of the project (phase 1), and that a further two groups of 10 young people be recruited from each of these locations for the following 6 months (phase 2).

Broadmeadows and Colac have been chosen to provide a contrast to the development of the game. Whilst they both have high levels of youth unemployment and youth disadvantage, they provide diversity in the Early School Leaver cohort to be engaged in the project (CALD and rural disadvantage) and the potential for quite different approaches to industry engagement.

It is proposed that in total 40 young people will be supported to be work ready, develop a range of industry skills, including digital literacy/numeracy skills, and be provided with a vocational placement in a disability services organisation.

Training, Vocational Placement and game (multimedia) development will be organized into cycles to ensure that sufficient time is allocated to exploring the participants’ understanding of work, enabling them to share experiences, learn new skills and discuss project implementation.

Phase 3 will be delivered over the second 12 months of the project. Workforce Plus will engage 380 at risk young people from Jobactive, DES, schools, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Learn Locals and community organisations to trial 20Squared in locations across Australia.

Phase 4 will involve a summative evaluation process that enables the project to collect quantitative and qualitative data throughout the two years of the project. The data will focus on the engagement of young people and their movement towards work in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 as well as on Employer engagement and the effectiveness of partnerships in relation to the success of the project.

 

The project will commence with an initial 4-week intensive block of training to be delivered locally and other locations. This will be followed by vocational placements for each young person with a local disability services employer. Refer to the table above outlining the program schedule for the first intake this year.

 

An outcome of the first 2 phases of the project is to contribute towards the development of a prototype virtual reality work experience game based on the young people’s work experience with local disability service employers. Equally importantly, each young person will be assisted into ongoing employment. This will be achieved by providing every participant with real work experience, work readiness & industry skills training, as well as digital literacy & numeracy skills.

Refer following page for a more detailed description of the program schedule

 

DETAILED PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Pre-Vocational Placement Training for Participants – 25 hours per week for 4 weeks

Accredited training delivered under the Certificate 1 of General Education for Adults (22236VIC) including:

  • Introduction to project and its intended outcomes,
  • Social media training for young people on capturing/collating multi-media workplace content, ACMI workshops – Introductory skills for game development including task identification and description, storyboarding,
  • Work readiness training – working in teams, technology, problem solving, communication, OHS, creativity, social intelligence, Literacy and Numeracy including digital & financial literacy personal presentation,
  • Introduction to Disability Services (community sector) / Industry speaker (Local Employer and/or NDS – Workforce Development/Key Skills & Tasks (Future Skills demand)
  • On-Line Disability Induction Program https://www.carecareers.com.au/page/disability-induction-program
  • Preparation for vocational placement and introduction to the participating workplaces
  • Structured job search in accordance with jobactive mutual obligations

 

These 4 weeks will be based primarily in a class room situation in each of the nominated locations, with day travel to ACMI on 3-4 days for training in filming, storyboarding, gaming and tasks to capture ‘work experience’. Training at ACMI needs to be finalised, also including availability of facilities at ACMI.

 

1st Cycle of Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Face-to-face training – 25 hours per week for 6 weeks

Placement conducted for 3 days a week

Training and group work for 1 day per week

Participants will be supported by the Job Coach through:

  • Support in the workplace for each participant
  • 1 x day face to face training and facilitation with the group
  • If/When a participant moves into employment provision of post placement support

 

Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 week

Reflection on learning from the vocational placement

Collate workplace material, cross-reference to draft game architecture to identify gaps

Further skill development

Job Search

1x day facilitation from ACMI for the Colac and Broadmeadows groups together at Federation Square

 

2nd Cycle of Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Face to face training – 25 hours per week for 6 weeks

Placement conducted for 3 days a week

Training and group work for 1 day per week

Participants will be supported in the work placement by the Job Coach

 

Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 Week

Development of material for game

Identification of gaps in material

Job Search

Addressing gaps in work readiness based on observations and feedback from workplaces

 

3rd Cycle of Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Training – 25 hours per week for 3 weeks

Work readiness strengthened

Workplace Communications

Complete gathering of material for games

 

Final Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 week

Complete the sequencing of material

Job Search

Interview Skills

Completion of CGEA Units

Handover to Phase 2 prepared

Total Weeks Phase 1 = 26 weeks

 

PHASE 2: DEVELOPMENT AND FINALISATION OF 20SQUARED PROTOTYPE

Workforce Plus is proposing to work with a second set of two groups of 10 participants, one based in Colac in the Western District of Victoria and one based in Broadmeadows in North West Melbourne.

 

Recruitment and Induction of Participants for Phase 2 – 4 weeks

  • Update to Community Stakeholders on achievements of Phase 1 and goals of Phase 2
  • Recruit Disability Service Providers to provide work experience placements and content for the 20Squared game;
  • Recruit participants and undertake initial assessments;
  • Enrol participants in Certificates of General Education for Adults;
  • Confirm evaluation methodology and information collection mechanisms;
  • Project Advisory Committee Meeting;
  • Follow up of jobs and post placement support for Phase 1 participants

 

Pre-Vocational Placement Training for Participants –25 hours per week for 4 weeks

Accredited training delivered under the Certificate 1 of General Education for Adults (22236VIC) including:

  • Introduction to project and its intended outcomes,
  • 22236VIC Certificate Education for Adults
  • Social media training for young people on capturing/collating multi-media workplace content, ACMI workshops – Introductory skills for game development including task identification and description, storyboarding,
  • Work readiness training – working in teams, technology, problem solving, communication, OHS, creativity, social intelligence, Literacy and Numeracy including digital & financial literacy personal presentation,
  • Introduction to Disability Services (community sector) / Industry speaker (Local Employer and/or NDS – Workforce Development/Key Skills & Tasks (Future Skills demand)
  • On-Line Disability Induction Program https://www.carecareers.com.au/page/disability-induction-program
  • Preparation for vocational placement and introduction to the participating workplaces
  • Structured job search in accordance with jobactive mutual obligations

 

These 4 weeks will be based primarily from a class room situation in each of the nominated locations, with day travel to Federation Square on 4 days for training in filming, storyboarding and gaming, as well as a visioning workshop for scoping/visioning Video Game Format and tasks to capture ‘work experience’.

 

1st Cycle of Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Training – 25 hours per week for 6 weeks

Placement conducted for 3 days a week

Training and group work for 1 day per week

Participants will be supported by the Job Coach through:

  •  Support in the workplace for each participant
  • 1 x day face to face training and facilitation with the group
  • If/When a participant moves into employment the Job Coach will provide post placement support

 

Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 week

  • Reflection on learning from the vocational placement
  • Development of coding for game
  • Further skill development
  • Job Search
  • 1x day facilitation from expert gamers for the two groups together at Federation Square

 

2nd Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Training –25 hours per week for 6 weeks

  • Placement conducted for 3 days a week
  • Training and group work for 1 day per week
  • Participants will be supported in the work placement by the Job Coach

 

Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 Week

  • Development of game
  • Identification of gaps in material
  • Job Search
  • Addressing gaps in work readiness based on observations and feedback from workplaces

3rd Work Observation, Vocational Placement and Face to Face Training – 25 hours per week for 3 weeks

  • Work readiness strengthened
  • Workplace Communications
  • Test Prototype with experience in the workplace

Final Training Intensive – 25 hours per week for 1 week

  • Complete the prototype of game
  • Job Search
  • Interview Skills
  • Completion of CGEA Units
  • Launch of game at Fed Square

 

Total Weeks Phase 2 = 26 weeks

 

PHASE 3: TRIALING 20SQUARED

In Phase 3 Workforce Plus will engage 380 at risk young people from jobactive, DES, schools, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Learn Locals and community organisations to trial the 20Squared prototype in locations across Australia. Particular focus for the trials will be on locations that are within the NDIS implementation regions. The aim of trial is to gain data on the usability of 20Squared and its effectiveness in terms of moving young people closer to work.

The young people will connect with the 20Squared prototype through Workforce Plus web site. This will be part of a guided and structured process, including requiring the young person and referring case manager to register before playing the game. Webinars and promotional materials will be provided to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from the game.  Webinars will be targeted to employment consultants, RTOs, career teachers etc to encourage and support young people to utilise the game as part of the career pathway session. The web site will provide the facility for the referring agency/school to provide referral comments on to the registration form.

The 20Squared web site will also include a facility for young people to comment after playing the game (including the capacity for the young people to tweet comments on the game, this could also be captured as part of the evaluation.

The trial is to test the Work Experience Game and gain feedback from participants. It is envisaged that the trial will also provide an opportunity to explore with participants their readiness for work and their understanding of the disability services sector. Planning for the trial will be finalised once the design of the game has been finalised but it is envisaged that the length of the trial is no longer than 1.5 hours.

The stages to the trial are:

  • Promotion of the trials to employment and youth agencies, schools, RTOs and TAFEs
  • Webinars to engage caseworkers, youth workers, trainers, teachers, support them in identifying and engaging with employers for potential work experience placements for trial participants
  • Scheduling of trials and organising logistics associated with the trials
  • Recruitment and registration of participants
  • Conduct the trials with participants, survey and gain feedback from participants immediately post game.
  • Monitor movement into real work experience through feedback from Case workers, trainers etc
  • Debrief survey with participants and agency staff post work experience
  • Survey participating employers on line
  • The survey of employers will be online. The case workers, trainers and so on will be encouraged to direct the employers to the survey and to register. In addition Workforce Plus will make contact via email to encourage them to undertake the online survey.
  • Workforce Plus Evaluation Manager will be responsible for designing and developing the survey. It will focus on the readiness of the young person for work experience.
  • The trials will be conducted as much as possible on site within agencies in locations outlined above.
  • They will be provided free of charge. The cost is absorbed in the staffing costs, corporate and administration support, webinar costs and travel costs.

PHASE 4: EVALUATION

Workforce Plus will undertake a formative and summative evaluation process that enables the collection of quantitative and qualitative data throughout the two years of the project.

The aim – to develop an effective and cost-efficient tool to help young people develop Core Skills for Work identified by industry as being essential for employment in addition to job-specific and/or technical skills – communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning and technology

The program – (20Squared) will be co-designed and coproduced with young people and industry. It will offer young unemployed people the opportunity to build and experience a virtual reality day in a particular workplace or occupation, where they can anticipate and/or respond to real world workplace situations and learn Core Skills for Work in a safe environment. Underpinned by ‘nudge theory’, it uses a strengths-based approach to change young people’s attitudes to work and industry’s attitude to employing them.

The measure of effectiveness - Did the program engage young people facing multiple and complex barriers to work? Did the program engage local employers? Did the program provide pathways to work or further learning for young people facing multiple and complex barriers to work? Can the program be replicated in other locations and settings? Did the program have any unintended consequences?

Data collection – documenting meetings with young jobseekers, employers and frontline workers through the co-design process; survey 25% of young people involved in the program at two stages, pre and post involvement, to measure incremental change in their aspirations for work (face to face, phone or online); survey sample group of local employers, post involvement, to gauge the program’s value to industry and identify local factors influencing outcomes (face to face, phone or online); SMS exit survey of all participants about destination

The data will focus on the engagement of young people and their movement towards work in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 as well as on Employer engagement and the effectiveness of partnerships in relation to the success of the project.

The evaluation will also look at the effectiveness of non-traditional partnerships in developing approaches that assist at risk young people in moving towards work. In 20Squared these partnerships include the involvement of ACMI, RHoK, Game Development Organisations and DKNet in the project as well as organisations such as schools, community organizations and local government.

PROPOSED PROGRAM EVALUATION FRAMEWORK

PROGRAM  EVALUATION
1. Goal 2. Objectives 3. Description 4. Questions 5. Source of Data 6. Methods of Data Collection
To build the employability of young people facing multiple and complex barriers to work To develop an effective and cost-efficient tool to help young people develop Core Skills for Work1 identified by industry as being essential for employment in addition to job-specific and/or technical skills – communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning and technology

 

To promote learnings from the initiative to enhance service delivery Australia-wide

20Squared will be co-designed and coproduced with young people and industry. It will offer young unemployed people the opportunity to build and experience a virtual reality day in a particular workplace or occupation, where they can anticipate and/or respond to real world workplace situations and learn Core Skills for Work in a safe environment. Underpinned by ‘nudge theory’, it uses a strengths-based approach to change young people’s attitudes to work and industry’s attitude to employing them.

 

Did the program engage young people facing multiple and complex barriers to work?

 

Did the program engage local employers?

 

Did the program provide pathways to work or further learning for young people facing multiple and complex barriers to work?

 

Can the program be replicated in other locations and other settings? (eg schools)

 

Did the program have any unintended consequences? (eg identify more efficient ways of doing particular tasks)

Young people involved in the program

 

Local employers

 

Frontline program staff

 

Other stakeholders (volunteers, ICT partners, jobactive)

 

 

 

 

 

Documenting meetings with young jobseekers, employers and frontline workers through the co-design process.

 

Survey 25% of young people involved in the program at two stages, pre and post involvement, to measure incremental change in their aspirations for work (face to face, phone or online).

 

Survey a sample group of local employers, post involvement, to gauge the program’s value to industry and identify local factors influencing outcomes (face to face, phone or online).

 

Track participants’ destination after involvement in the program (SMS exit survey for all participants).Potential for longitudinal study.