Our Story

Guiding young people into the workforce since 1988

1988: A group of community members got together to address the growing problem of youth unemployment in the Fleurieu region and sponsored the Community Youth Support Scheme.

1989: The SkillShare program was established by the Commonwealth government, and projects were set up in both Goolwa and Mt Barker by two separate organisations. Both started with nothing except some donated desks and chairs, and modest funding grants from the government.

1989-1999: Hills Employment Options and the Southern Fleurieu Skills Training Program both delivered a range of programs in their respective communities, including paid, long-term work experience programs; support to establish new self-employment ventures, and environmental projects for disengaged young people as well as the training, personal support and enterprise activities of the SkillShare program.

Our Youth Service has evolved over the years

1997: We established our youth service, and have provided case management, career development support, learning programs, life skills programs, and job search assistance to disengaged and at-risk young people until the present day.

1998: Job Network replaced SkillShare, and the two organisations amalgamated as Employment Options to deliver employment services through Job Network and subsequently, Job Services Australia.

2010: Employment Options became an ICAN (Innovative Community Action Network) Preferred Provider panel member for case management services for students at risk of disengaging from education due to personal or family barriers (ages 11-17).

2013: We added the Flexible Learning Program providing an alternative learning program for students at risk of disengaging from education due to personal or family barriers. Employment Options launched Youth Space East and then Youth Space West with a focus on helping young people re-engage with learning through experiential hands-on learning as a FLO Provider with the Department for Education SA.

We hold career development at our core

2015: Employment Options ceased delivery of the Commonwealth Government’s Employment Services. We continued to focus on delivering youth services, training programs, especially in foundation skills and for disadvantaged people, and career development services.

2016: We were successful in obtaining a grant from the Department of Employment through the Empowering YOUth initiatives to develop Pathfinder – Game Your Career. Employment Options developed the career exploration content, gamified style and online technology using Ed Tech company Klevar Group from the ground up. This Product has been a milestone for Employment Options and the technology has been used in subsequent programs such as Pathfinder for Trades, Pathway to Allied Timber Trades and Greenlight to Work.

Always expanding our horizons

2018-2019: Employment Options ran a unique program called Expanding Horizons – Girls Like Us, thanks to funding from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Over 100 year 8 & 9 girls from 9 schools in Eastern and Western Adelaide participated. This program allowed us to work with the girls, their families and schools to demonstrate in a practical way the wonderful opportunities available to women for careers in STEM.

2019: We consolidated our three locations from the Adelaide Hills, Port Adelaide and Eastern Adelaide into one incredible multi-function facility in Sturt Street, Adelaide. We created the Sturt Street Youth Hub. During the early part of 2019 we also became an NDIS Provider and Adult Community Education (ACE) Provider, diversifying the services offer our community. Employment Options was also invited the deliver two Regional Employment Trials – Greenlight to Work, one in Murray Bridge and one in the Mid-North of SA. These RET’s are delivered in partnership with the respective Regional Development Australia locations and funded by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

Adding to our NDIS Services, in 2019 we were funded to deliver the BizAbility Program to people living with a disability and provide them with the opportunity to explore self-employment as pathway to economic participation using Human Centred Design Methodology.