A collaborative program underway in Townsville to strengthen social and economic outcomes and increase job opportunities for at-risk youth.

Project name

QSEED Phase 2


CQ University

Grant amount


Year/s of funding

18 months / 2024-2025

The John Villiers Trust is supporting a collaborative program underway in Townsville to strengthen social and economic outcomes and increase job opportunities for at-risk youth.

The John Villiers Trust is supporting the second phase of the CQUniversity’s Q-SEED project, which is bringing together employers, youth organisations, employment agencies, and un- and under-employed 18-24 year olds in Townsville to co-design sustainable and meaningful employment opportunities for youth in Townsville.

This follows an earlier investment of seed funding to investigate and plan how best to strengthen social and economic outcomes and increase job opportunities in Townsville through procurement. The resulting Q-SEED Regional Action Plan identified that:

  • youth in Townsville needed greater focus on a number of fronts, starting with employment
  • employers in Townsville encounter obstacles when recruiting young people
  • the current model of supporting young people into work may not be trauma-informed or using co-design as a process.

These findings inform Phase 2 of Q-SEED.

Phase 2 of the Q-SEED project aims to address the employment challenges faced by young people in Townsville, and work with local businesses to make their employment practices more accessible. It intends to empower young voices, bridge divides, and foster innovative solutions for a brighter employment future in Townsville. It will use a trauma-informed co-design model.

It will also build connections and collaborations between buyers, suppliers, employers and young people looking for work. By strengthening local and social procurement and job opportunities, more sustainable employment outcomes can be achieved for priority jobseekers in the area.

Who is working on the project?

  • ArcBlue – Specialist Procurement and Inclusive Employment support, developing the framework for Place Based programs roll out.
  • CQUniversity – Office of Social Innovation, and the School of Business and Law researchers.
  • CQUniversity – Office of Indigenous Engagement + First Nation’s partner organisation.
  • Queensland Youth Services – Active participants in Phase 1 and 2.
  • Townsville Youth Foyer – Active participants in Phase 1 and 2.
  • Youth Reset – Active participants in Phase 1 and 2.
  • Townsville Youth Council, funded by Townsville City Council, active participants in Phase 1 and 2.
  • Townsville’s First Nations Youth Council – engaged through the Youth Foyer.
  • Three major employers – to be recruited by and confirmed with ArcBlue.

Why is JVT getting involved?

JVT loves country Queensland and we fund work to promote economic development and participation in rural, regional and remote communities. This also supports the wellbeing and development of young Queenslanders building their lives in country communities.

The project aligns closely with JVT’s goals, strategic intent, and success criteria. The program:

  • focuses on prevention and early intervention by finding employment for at-risk youth
  • has multiple and deep impacts, supporting young people to find and retain employment, employers to secure staff, and connecting local suppliers and procurers for the benefit of the Townsville economy. It will also build improved understanding and a more inclusive job market in the region and potentially be a pilot for other regional communities.
  • relies heavily on partnerships and collaboration to succeed
  • is community-led and informed
  • prioritises building the skills, understanding and capacity of procurers, suppliers, employers, local government and local community bodies in Townsville.

Our JVT funding

JVT funded Q-SEED Phase 1 in 2023 for $50,000 to help create a place-based solution in Townsville to deliver socio-economic employment and procurement opportunities identified as requiring crucial attention in regional Queensland.

Upon the success of this initial pilot, and development of a Regional Action Plan, JVT in 2024 has further provided $196,260 for Q-SEED Phase 2 to see this program to fruition in co-designing employment opportunities with young people, youth and support organisations, and employers in Townsville.

The Q-SEED project has also secured funding from Advance Queensland, to implement and embed social and local procurement opportunities. This will include engaging buyers and suppliers and building their capability.

The program’s design allows for scalability, with the hope that the program can be expanded further across Townsville and to other regional communities in the future.

More information:

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