Last updated: 25 May, 2018

'Staying on Track' will bring together a diverse group of young Victorians to provide recommendations to support them as they navigate the challenging gap between education and finding purposeful work.

We want to work out what support 18-25 year olds need during the gap between education and getting a good job. These days, this gap can take years, and some groups have a harder time finding work than others. Unemployment, insecurity and poor work conditions can cause stress, anxiety and isolation.

We want to work with a group of 50 young adults to have a conversation and help us understand what support is needed. Leading up to a weekend workshop, the group (or ‘jury’) will be able to read evidence and proposed solutions posted below (‘submissions’) on what works to support wellbeing, resilience and social connection, from those across government, philanthropy and the community.

The group will then discuss the information and debate the ideas (online and in person) before coming to an agreement on recommendations in response to the problem. At the end of the forum, the group will produce a report of their recommendations.

VicHealth’s role will be to bring the right people together to generate, and take forward, the recommendations to the right people. 

The problem

Finding purposeful work can be incredibly hard and can take its toll on many young adults in Victoria, and indeed Australia. Production work going overseas and jobs being automated have made it considerably harder for young adults aged 18 to 25 years.

  • It now takes almost 5 years to get a stable job after finishing education, compared to 1 year a generation ago.
  • 1 in 3 young adults are actively looking for work.
  • A growing proportion are unemployed and underemployed.
  • Work in many industries relies on professional networks, which a lot of people just out of study just don’t have. 

From 18–25 years, people go through important transitions with education, work, family and relationships. One of these transition periods is moving from education (school, tertiary or trades) to purposeful employment. It’s a critical window for individual development yet the data tells us our young people aren’t doing so well during this time.

  • 1 in 4 young Australians is currently experiencing a mental health condition – including anxiety and depression.
  • 1 in 4 young adult Victorians report limited access to social support when needed.
  • 1 in 8 young adult Victorians are lonely – a key risk factor for depression.
  • 75% of adult mental health conditions emerge by age 24.

This is why it’s so important to intervene, and supporting people early can help prevent mental health issues occurring, and re-occurring, later in life.

Young people in the future will need to be not only highly educated but also in possession of a raft of transferable skills. They will need to compete for work globally and be flexible to navigate job types. This will be great for some people, but could also lead to isolation, insecurity and the loss of protections like sick leave, holiday pay, maternity leave and superannuation.

Supporting young adults to build resilience, coping skills and social connections will help create a positive foundation and allow them to thrive in the current employment environment.

Read more about the problem (PDF, 2.2 MB)


Make a submission

Submissions are the proposed solutions that the jury will discuss during the forum.

If you have ideas of how to support young people between education and purposeful work, and would like to make a submission, please first If you would like to make a submission responding to the problem which will be discussed by the deliberative forum, please first read the submission guidelines (PDF, 187 KB)

Then email your document or video submission to by 31 May 2018, 5pm.


Can I be part of the jury?  

We would love you to register to be part of the jury if you tick off all of the below!

  • I am between 18 – 25 years old
  • I live in Victoria (we can pay for transport and accommodation if you live remotely)
  • I am available for all of the 4 meeting times
  • I can do the required reading before the workshop

For more info on what is required and WHY you should be involved, check out our invitation to participants.

And then register here!

The selection process is being handled by an independent organisation, Deliberately Engaging. For more information about the selection process contact Nivek Thompson on 0472 761 324 or at

Your registration and contact details will remain private.


Frequently asked questions

Click here to view the frequently asked questions. (PDF, 400 KB)

For any queries, please contact



Submissions will be posted here in the coming weeks.


Key dates



Opening date for submissions

Monday 30 April 2018


Closing date for submissions

Wednesday 31 May 2018 (5.00pm)


Submissions posted live on VicHealth website

Monday 4 June 2018

First meeting of participants*

Tuesday 5 June 2018

5.00pm – 8.00pm

Online deliberation by participants

Tuesday 5 June – Thursday 21 June 2018

Second meeting of participants

Friday 22 June 2018

2.00pm – 8.00pm

Third meeting of participants

Saturday 23 June 2018

9.00am – 5.00pm

Fourth meeting of participants

Sunday 24 June 2018

9.00am – 2.00pm

*Participants refers to the group of 50 young adults who will be involved in the deliberations