Youth Development

Youth Work Placement Initiative

The Need

Young people from disadvantaged circumstances often have fewer opportunities for employment experience, which is an important stepping stone in developing confidence and core skills to succeed in the workplace.

What We Do

We offer youth in alternative education a paid employment opportunity to help them develop confidence and transferrable skills at Feed the Need's kitchen. We coach and support them in a warm and positive environment, helping them to recognise their strengths and develop those key skills and attributes that will appeal to future employers.

How We Do It

Young people are supported by their educational provider when they apply for a placement. We conduct 'friendly' interviews and select those young people who are not only hungry for a chance to develop but who we think will benefit most from an opportunity like this.

Selected applicants are employed as Kitchen Hands over 4 weeks and are coached in a supportive environment to develop specific skills and attributes. Post-placement, the students receive ongoing support and career guidance from their education provider.

Our Partners

We're privileged to have BEST Youth Academy as our work placement partner. We're amazed at their heart and professionalism in fostering the self-belief and talents in young people who find traditional schooling isn't right for them.

We're grateful for the generous support of Foundation North, the major funder for our 2016 initiative. We also acknowledge Vodafone Foundation who kindly funded this initiative in 2014 and 2015.

The Impacts

It's been great to see the growth of these amazing young people when they are supported to succeed on-the-job. This is what our young friends have told us about what they got out of their experience:


"I've never felt as much love as I have in this kitchen"

"Our kitchen team was tight as and we had heaps of fun every day"

"I loved delivering the lunches to the schools and seeing how happy the kids were to get their food"


"I never thought I was good at that much until I worked in the kitchen"

"Working at Feed the Need changed me to feel better about myself I think because everyone was so positive and believed in me"


"It felt really good doing something to help others, especially kids"

"Now I want to get into a job where I am helping others"


"Now I'm way better at using my initiative. If I've got nothing to do I just look for who I can help and what needs to be done, and just do it"

"I got really good at communicating and not being shy to ask questions and checking to make sure I heard the directions properly"


"I learnt how important work ethic is and tried to work my hardest'

"There was this positive and happy vibe there that made me want to do my best"


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