How was work today? It’s a question we often ask or answer every day, usually without much thought. But what if your chances of getting a job were impacted by situations or circumstances beyond your control? Many young job seekers face this challenge on a regular basis and these barriers can be their biggest hurdle to achieving employment. But teach our youth how to become makers, artists and entrepreneurs; to think critically and creatively, teach them how to market and build a brand and we start removing those some of those walls. Brick by brick. Enter TroubleSmiths, the social enterprise arm of Youth Entrepreneurial Services (YES*).
The name TroubleSmiths is a playful take on society’s serious misconception that our unemployed youth are troublemakers, lazy or to use offensive Australian slang “dole bludgers.” These ‘Smiths are here to shake up the status quo and prove that with grit, determination and support that they can break through the barriers of situational (and sometimes generational) unemployment.
The team is made up of ‘Smiths aged 15-24 who have volunteered to work in exchange for skill development and support. They gain work experience by hand producing, developing and selling some amazing products and are involved in every step of the process, from research and development to product creation and marketing. By providing access to life and professional/employment coaching YES aim to change the lives of each ‘Smith and with that our perception of those young people who are yet to break through into the working world.
And the products? Incredible. Each product is heavily researched and tested before going to market, ensuring that they are of the highest quality. Tattoo balm, Hand Salve (my personal favourite) Candles, Earrings, Soft Furnishings and Hair Care the list goes on. Handcrafted in small batches ensures that products are created in a sustainable manner with little waste.
So if you are after a gift for Valentines Day, Galentines Day, a Birthday or just because I encourage you to shop locally, sustainably and with a conscience.
By doing so you will help change the lives and circumstances of Tasmania’s unemployed youth. Change a life, shop at www.troublesmiths.com.au, visit stockists Red Parka, Lily & Dot, or Spotted Quoll, or get yourself to a TroubleSmiths Pop-up: Eastlands Shopping Centre – February 12th – 16th
*YES is funded by the EmpoweringYOUth Initiative, and it operates out of Impact Communities, the community arm of Workskills.