Growing stronger together

November 10, 2015
Northern Futures honoured with national award


For immediate release

Tuesday November 10, 2015


Northern Futures honoured with national award

Northern Futures is delighted to receive national recognition for its work in creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged young job seekers in Geelong’s northern suburbs.

The Norlane-based organisation was honoured with the Youth Employment Award at the 2015 National Employment Awards presented during the Australian Long-term Unemployment Conference in Melbourne on November 9, 2015.

Northern Futures Executive Officer Lou Brazier said the award recognised the success of the Northern Futures model.

“At Northern Futures we have developed an innovative approach to job training and employment placement that draws on the resources of the whole community in a truly collaborative way,” Ms Brazier said.

“We help disadvantaged young people access appropriate skills training then support and mentor them while they settle into their new job.

“It’s a highly intensive process but our figures show it’s a process that works. We are helping young people turn their lives around. Once they realise they can get a job and keep it, it changes their whole idea of what is possible.”

Northern Futures won the award on the basis of its delivery of the Alcoa Foundation’s Global Internships for Unemployment Youth. The program gives disadvantaged young jobseekers the opportunity to complete a six week paid work placement in local industry. Results are showing that by using its own model, Northern Futures is setting international benchmarks in the delivery of the program.

“Since January 2014, we have had 26 young people commence global internships. Of those, 22 or nearly 85% have secured ongoing employment.

“As the only Australian provider of this global program, we have had great feedback from Alcoa Foundation’s New York-based program manager who believes we demonstrate ‘best practice’ in our program delivery, achieving employment rates more than 30% above the average of other global partners.

“This is only one of the programs we run for young people but it has given us an opportunity to compare ourselves with similar programs around the world and it is extremely heartening for Geelong and the northern suburbs that the work of Northern Futures stacks up internationally.”

The Northern Futures training and employment placement model is uniquely informed by the evidence-based ‘Bridges out of Poverty’ framework, placing great emphasis on helping people from under-resourced communities develop life-skills necessary for workforce participation.

“Our programs focus on bridging the knowledge gap about the ‘hidden rules’ and mindset that exists within different socio-economic levels of the community. Not only does this help our participants succeed in the workplace, it ensures our industry partners better understand the challenges faced by the young people they employ.

“The Youth Employment Award recognises the value of that approach and also the tremendous efforts of the Northern Futures team who work extremely hard to ensure the participants of our programs get the best chance to succeed at life.”

For more information about the 2015 Employment Awards visit the Australian Long-term Unemployment Conference website at


About Northern Futures Established in 2007, Northern Futures operates under the auspices of the Norlane Community Centre and is guided by a steering committee representing Geelong’s government, industry, education and community sectors.

The Northern Futures mission is to create employment and training opportunities for the 60% of people in the 3214 community most at risk of becoming or remaining jobless. By linking the needs of people and employers in a truly collaborative way, it aims to strengthen the local economy and build a sustainable community.


Media contact: Pauline Braniff McCo Group 0448 815 637