In response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, IllawarraYES is taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of program participants by following government guidelines and monitoring the situation closely.

For further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our program coordinator on 02 4223 0336.

Get Involved

Are you a recent school-leaver looking for an exciting start to a career, close to home, in one of the Illawarra’s growth sectors?

Do you know a young person who needs a great way to begin their career, supported by some of our best employers and a team of training professionals? 

If you would like more information or are interested in being involved in the IllawarraYES program, please complete your details below and we will contact you as soon as possible.

About Illawarra YES

Since 2016, the IllawarraYES Coordinator, appointed by the Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) and funded by the NSW Government has been working with local employers, youth organisations, government, and Registered Training Organisations to meet business skill shortages while providing real work opportunities for young people.

The IllawarraYES program focuses on building entry level employment pathways for young people, comprised of vocational training, employability skills and work experience as well as on-the-job mentoring and support.

The IllawarraYES program also assists business to meet identified skill shortages.  It seeks to prepare, skill and trial young job seekers prior to employment, by coordinating government funded training and job readiness programs including work experience, tailored to business and industry requirements.

The IllawarraYES Coordinator partners with local business and industry to achieve successful training and employment outcomes across Local Government, Construction, Hospitality, Aged Care, Call Centre and Transport sectors, supporting skills shortage and key growth areas.

Current Programs

Retail – Australian Retailers Association

The ARA and IllawarraYES are offering young people aged 15-24 a six week program in Retail. 

This program has commenced in Wollongong and is progressing well.  The Nowra program will start 20 July 2020 and is currently accepting enrolments.

Horticulture / Ecology – Warrigal Employment

Warrigal Employment, TAFE and IllawarraYES are offering young indigenous people a six week program in Horticulture and Ecology.

This program will start 20 July 2020 and is currently accepting enrolments.

Manufacturing – Shoalhaven Youth Into Work Initiative

Shoalhaven Youth Into Work Initiative and IllawarraYES are offering young people aged 15-24 a six week program in Manufacturing, including formal training and work experience.

This program will start 10 August 2020 in the Shoalhaven and is currently accepting enrolments.

Future Programs Wollongong

Disability Support

Enrolments open August 2020

Aged Care

Enrolments open August 2020

Commercial Cookery

Enrolments open August 2020

Customer Engagement

More information to come


More information to come

Future Programs Nowra

Disability Support & Aged Care

Enrolments open August 2020

Trade Taster

More information to come

Warehouse & Logistics

More information to come

How It Works

  1. The IllawarraYES Coordinator consults with local business, government and industry to determine which current, future or ongoing vacancies may be suitable for entry level youth employment.

  2. Liaise with a network of local employment providers to identify and recruit young people to match to employment opportunities.

  3. Partner with Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) to deliver Smart and Skilled funded vocational training to young people, aligned to specific business and industry training needs.

  4. Coordinate work experience, internships and work trial opportunities, providing young people with hands on experience in the workplace while allowing the employer to trial candidates prior to employment.

  5. Assist with employment options and incentives, including access to youth wage subsidies for casual, part-time or full-time work, and/or referrals to Apprenticeships Australia.


The IllawarraYES program assists local businesses to meet identified skills shortages.  This is achieved by preparing, trialling and potentially employing young people (15-24 years) through the coordination of a range of government funded initiatives.

Youth Participants

The IllawarraYES program assists young people with entry level employment pathways comprising vocational training, employability skills and work experience to prepare them for future employment including apprenticeships and traineeships.

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