How Skill Hire is Using iyarn to Support Young People in Innovative Ways

How Skill Hire is Using iyarn to Support Young People in Innovative Ways

Skill Hire as part of the IntoWork Group,  a national training and employment provider has been using iyarn since 2022 to check in on their youth participants in their Transition to Work programs and more recently their Apprentice and Group Training business across a number of their training sites in WA.  

Before implementation of iyarn: 

As a training and employment provider offering career development and coaching, Skill Hire is deeply invested in the success of their program participants. Before using iyarn, program directors were concerned with the amount of participants dropping out of the program and felt that they didn’t have any warning signs beforehand which stopped them from providing needed support and intervention. Skill Hire sought out and started using iyarn in the hopes that they could identify participant concerns earlier and offer needed support and intervention before situations escalated and participants dropped out.

In speaking with an HR Coordinator, she expressed the challenges they faced in retention: 

“Oftentimes it’s time to do the exit interview and we find out that someone is dropping out of their program and we had no warning signs. If we had known sooner that they were struggling we could have provided the support they needed and helped them finish the program.” 

A field officer told us she also felt limited in the support she was able to offer to participants: 

“We aren’t always able to be there on site. We don’t see the participants as often as we would like, so we aren’t able to know what’s really going on.” 

Skill Hire hoped that iyarn would give them a greater understanding of the needs and experiences of the young people during their job training, so they could provide better support and increase the program completion rate.  

Implementation of iyarn: 

We worked with Business Managers at Skill Hire to identify what areas they would like to see the young people checking in on. After careful consideration, we decided on two different check ins. First, a fortnightly check in and secondly, a General Check in. 

The first check in was completed fortnightly by participants in order to gain consistent insights over time and identify high level trends. It encouraged them to reflect on and track their emotions, skills, and overall development and created a space for them to see their personal growth and build self-awareness, both of which are crucial for professional progress.

The second check in was more of an adhoc check in completed prior to a site visit by a field officer. The results from this check in served as a guide for field officers to conduct deeper, more meaningful conversations with the participants. This check in addressed immediate work-related issues and fostered a supportive environment, enhancing team cohesion and individual wellbeing. 

Together, these two check ins created a holistic framework for young people’s development and support. Consistent check in results give visual insights into their experience over time.

Below is an example for illustration purposes only, not reflective of actual check in results.

Results from using iyarn:

The feedback we received from Skill Hire business managers was very positive. They felt iyarn had truly transformed the way they were able to support young people and mentioned several areas in  particular which iyarn check in data provided the most value for them:  identifying issues early on, creating more meaningful connections with the program participants, greater program evaluation, and greater job satisfaction for their team.

Identifying issues early-on

As Skill Hire initially told us, they were hoping that iyarn would give them the ability to identify issues or concerns earlier, so that they could provide the needed support and hopefully increase program retention and completion. Skill Hire Business Managers were happy to report that iyarn helped them do exactly that. 

“iyarn has helped us identify issues before they become extreme issues or crisis situations and be able to address them.” – Business Manager– Wheatbelt

Skill Hire realised how difficult it was to really know how young people were going before they started using iyarn. 

“It’s been a big eye opener for the career coaches when the participants are saying they’re fine, but the scores are saying something different.” – Business Manager– Great Southern

Fostering meaningful connections

iyarn gave career coaches a greater understanding of the young people they were working with. Business Manager, Leila, Vandjal, said,

“iyarn allows our team to see each participant as an individual and understand their individual circumstances. It gives participants a safe way to express their concerns and that’s been a big game-changer. It’s been a way to get more clarity on what’s happening in their world…they might want to talk about it, but they’re not sure about how to start that conversation with the career coaches…it’s a good way to open up that conversation about it with them.” 

In fact, Skill Hire business leaders said the quality of the conversations that the field officers improved drastically. Before using iyarn, they felt like they were only able to get a “I’m fine” or “yes” or “no” responses from the participants, the career coaches found that with iyarn data as a guide, they were able to ask open-ended and purposeful questions about each participant’s specific check in data. The field officers felt like the conversations they had actually provided the support the young people needed. One business manager expressed how impressed she was that even for new career coaches, who generally felt uncomfortable with knowing how to have conversations with the young people, could easily leverage iyarn data and were having deep and meaningful conversations. It allowed new career coaches to be better than they would have without iyarn.  

Data-driven program evaluation

Another great benefit that they saw in using iyarn was that they were better able to measure outcomes and evaluate their programs. 

“It’s helped us remember to check in about important things that we previously forgot to ask. We can then use those insights to re-evaluate the services we are offering. From looking at the data, we might realise they aren’t matched with the right career coach and match them with someone better for them. Because of the data we are always re-evaluating and asking if we are doing everything we can, and now we can actually see what areas we can improve.” – Business Manager– Wheatbelt

Greater job satisfaction

Business managers at Skill Hire said that their team started getting excited to look at iyarn check in data and write reports for their supervisors because using data they were able to visualise progress and showcase their success and hard work. 

“Everyone is now really into [iyarn] and using the check in features. We’ve become passionate about it because when we go to do our reports every month we’ve got the data and can actually see how everyone is tracking. I can’t wait to see them progress and their confidence score go up. Our bosses and the rest of the department can then see our success and that we are effectively supporting the young people we are working with, and our hard work is paying off.” – Business Manager– Wheatbelt

A huge success:

We’ve loved seeing Skill Hire business managers, career coaches, and field officers all become passionate and excited about iyarn. Seeing their success really solidifies the value that iyarn check in data brings to the table for case workers in the social service sector. Insights from iyarn transformed the way Skill Hire connected with and offered support to their program participants. It captured the participants’ experiences and journeys in a way they felt listened to, understood, and supported. Both Skill Hire and their participants could see their progress and be excited about the growth they achieved. 

Check out this video and real experiences and feedback from Skill Hire:

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