Organisations helping reduce barriers to employment for young people and households with children are encouraged to apply for new grant funding to take their work to the next level.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF) today announces a National Open Grant Round aimed at supporting young people, parents and carers to engage in economically secure employment.

Organisations with a charitable purpose or social impact mission (including social enterprises) can use the funding to establish or deliver new initiatives focused on employment in these target groups, scale initiatives already backed by evidence, or build the evidence base of what works for securing the program outcomes and supporting the target populations.

Josephine Khalil, Head of Employment at PRF, said despite the tight labour market in Australia, many people face systemic barriers to entering the workforce or were trapped in poverty by low paid and insecure jobs.

“Recent ABS figures show there are 1.4 million jobless families and 8% of young Australians (aged 15-24) were not engaged in education, employment or training in 2022,” she said. “We are living in challenging economic conditions right now, with rising cost of living, stagnant wages growth and high inflation, but those most impacted by this are those least able to absorb the additional pressure.

“We want to invest in organisations and initiatives that help reduce the systemic barriers to long-term, secure employment, so all people have access to secure work and economic dignity.

“Working towards breaking cycles of disadvantage, we aim not only to confront the immediate manifestations of unemployment, but also the deeper social and economic conditions that perpetuate unemployment and underemployment, and prevent social mobility.”

The target populations for the Employment Open Grant Round are:

  • Young people, aged 15-24, at risk, or not engaged in education, employment or training; and
  • Households with children with no one employed.

These broad populations include, for example, First Nations people, refugees and people seeking asylum, people living with a disability or super ability, and people living in rural and remote communities.

Recipient organisations must:  

  • Be an entity with a charitable purpose or social impact mission relevant to increasing employment in the target cohorts
  • Additional eligibility criteria for for-profit social enterprises: the initiative must be run as a separate program on a not-for-profit basis and have measures to avoid private benefit
  • Operate in Australia
  • Have programs which aim to contribute to these targets: 
  1. Improve engagement in economically secure employment or employment pathways, for young people and/or households with children, especially single parent households; and
  2. Disproportionately benefit groups at higher risk of unemployment, under-employment or disengagement from the workforce (see Target Populations) 
  • Have programs which are either: 
  1. Innovative solutions (still testing efficacy of model) that contribute to the targets above; and/or 
  2. Achieving good outcomes for this cohort and can be scaled; and/or
  3. Multi-disciplinary approaches (also known as a polymath approach) to addressing this challenge for the target cohorts.

Expressions of interest are open from 31 January to 26 February 2023. These will be assessed and shortlisted against the grant criteria, with full applications proceeding by invitation only based on the outcome of the EOI process.

For questions about your EOI, please email

Watch the webinar recording