NSW Department of Industry – Smart, Skilled & Hired Youth Employment Program – $65m Outcomes Based Program (NSW, Australia)

Smart Skilled and Hired – Designing, procuring and evaluating a $65m outcomes-based program to help disadvantaged young people into work

The client

The NSW Department of Industry is responsible for driving sustainable economic growth across NSW, which includes creating new jobs.

The challenge

An investment of $65m was made into the Smart Skilled Hired Youth Employment (SSHYE) program to accelerate the transition of young people into employment.​

This is a pioneering ‘outcomes-based’ program where 50% of the employment provider fees are contingent on those providers getting young people into jobs. This changes the behavioural incentives of employment providers, increasing the focus on achieving employment outcomes for young people.

The impact of our work

  • We advised on the design, procurement and evaluation of this $65m outcomes contract over a four-year period.​
  • We adopted a robust co-design approach that included key stakeholder workshops and the development of an evidence and expert-informed logic model.​
  • We advised on the procurement of all NSW youth employment providers.​
  • We also advised on the evaluation of the program, adjusting the focus of the evaluation as the program developed from inputs through to outcomes.​
  • Smart Skilled and Hired has secured jobs for disadvantaged young people at three times the rate of other Commonwealth employment programs.​
  • This experience has also yielded extensive insights into how best to commission for outcomes.​
  • These learnings are applicable across all spheres of government, especially when we consider how closely different parts of government need to work together to achieve lasting life outcomes for citizens.