13 September 2019

Making people feel beautiful can be a rewarding career for young people. That was the take home message at a recent Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Transition to Work beauty industry forum held in Broadmeadows.

The Transition to Work program holds regular workshops to explore career options for young people. At this workshop, 10 unemployed young people heard directly from successful makeup artists and business owners and three young women decided studying further would open doors for them in the growing beauty industry.

Broadmeadows’ Transition to Work Program team leader Emina Sivic said the trio would now embark on a Certificate 3 in Beauty Services and Makeup.

Each month around 10 young people aged 15-21 are supported into education or employment through two TTW offices in Broadmeadows and Frankston.

“It’s wonderful to see them enthusiastic about training to enter the workforce,” Emina said. “It’s great to see an interest sparking a career.”

The session was led by Anita ** from Kukla Training who spoke about her experiences as a beauty trainer, salon worker and owner. She also spoke about the way the Certificate 3 opened doors for her.

Drag queen Amanda Monroe spoke to the young women about the importance of being true to yourself.

“I told them they needed the confidence to approach the world on their terms, rather than second guess what people want from them,” Amanda said.

‘This is the first foyer evaluation to present rigorous evidence of sustained, beneficial impacts,’ says Professor Shelley Mallet, Director of the Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre.

A report by Professor Mallett and Brotherhood researchers, Marion Coddou and Joseph Borlagdan, finds many benefits in key areas, including:


EFY Foyers developed young people’s living skills and supported them to access decent housing.

Big improvements in their housing independence at exit further improved a year later. The percentage living in their own place (renting or owning) increased from 7% at entry to 43% at exit, and to 51% a year later. Meanwhile, the percentage sleeping rough or living in crisis accommodation, treatment centres or detention declined from 32% at entry to 3% at exit, and to 2% a year later.


EFY Foyers enabled young people to pursue education qualifications necessary for sustainable employment. In total, about 70% of participants had either achieved a higher qualification or were still enrolled a year after exit. Of those who had not completed a higher education qualification, 70% were still enrolled a year after exit.


EFY Foyer staff created opportunities for young people to find internships, work experience, mentors and jobs aligned with their goals and plans. In the year after exit, about 85% of participants worked or studied. The percentage of participants employed, including in part-time or casual work, increased from 19% at entry to 31% at exit and 36% a year later.

Brotherhood Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg says to build skills and opportunity and spark hope in young people experiencing homelessness, an ambitious, new approach was needed.

‘Homelessness is more than just rooflessness, it deprives people of skills and strengths and represents the ebbing away of opportunity and hope in their lives. The evidence is in - this new approach works.’