Scrubs Youth Cooperative


August 2017 Press release

iEmpower Youth Inc launches “Scrubs”.. a bold and innovative project to help young people from diverse backgrounds.

In a bid to tackle the problem of youth unemployment, the Federal Government through the Department of Employment devised the “Empowering YOUth Initiatives” scheme whereby service providers could propose innovative schemes to assist 15-24 year olds to become more employable or ultimately employed. iEmpower Youth Inc, a local not-for-profit, tendered successfully for this program and has now commenced preliminary work on the project, called “Scrubs”.

iEmpower has been working with young disadvantaged people for over 10 years and identified that young people from diverse backgrounds such as migrants and refugees were far more disadvantaged in the job market than the general population for a variety of reasons, the main point being that they are 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed. We also identified that people from these backgrounds are far more likely to start their own businesses and are far more likely to succeed than the general population. Finally, we looked at areas of skills or general labour shortage, one of them being cleaning and maintenance, and Scrubs was born.

The Scrubs project will engage young disadvantaged people of diverse backgrounds from the western, inner western and inner Melbourne catchment areas and train them in cleaning, graffiti removal, maintenance and eventually a variety of other property services. When trained and qualified, they will then become a member of a cooperative, effectively becoming owners of the business that they work in along with an equal democratic vote about how that company operates. They are also provided with mentors and career counselling to ensure that their future is bright.

iEmpower CEO, Abeselom Nega, a well known community leader, said that “the Scrubs project is a very daring venture but it will not only help up to 200 young people into work over the next 2 years, we think our template will set an example for many others in the future. We are very excited with the program and have now commenced recruiting young people into the program.”

To be eligible for this new venture, young people who are interested need to be aged 15-24, currently unemployed and reside in the western, inner western and inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. Participants are still eligible even if they are currently in receipt of other services such as jobactive, DES or Transition To Work.

Any further enquiries can be directed to:

Ahmed Dini (Marketing Manager) 0402 695 879 or contact our office in Kensington on 03 9372 2333