• 'The Employables' on SBS. (SBS)Source: SBS
‘The Employables’ launches an unprecedented social and business experiment to empower a group of the most marginalised job seekers in Australia.
Tanya Modini

13 Aug 2018 - 12:40 PM  UPDATED 30 Nov 2018 - 3:10 PM

The opportunity

Out of hundreds of unemployed hopefuls armed with business ideas, six people will be chosen and mentored by entrepreneur with a social conscience Creel Price to develop a business idea ready to pitch to investors in only 8 weeks. The process is designed to provide a platform for participant ideas and an opportunity to potentially create a new life for themselves. Throughout the journey, the participants and the audience are given an exclusive entree into the realm of business startups under the guidance of Creel and his team.

It’s reality that’s so very relatable. Who doesn’t know someone who is struggling to gain employment through no fault of their own? It’s our neighbours, family members and friends who make up the featured groups in this series — groups who face elevated incidences of discrimination and prejudice in Australian society which become even more pronounced when they are seeking work. Simply being a member of one of these groups statistically makes it far more likely to be denied job opportunities. Frustrating? Yep. But these job seekers give hope to others with their uber resilient never give up attitude.

The candidate backgrounds

The candidates have been selected from a diverse range of high unemployment groups in Australian society whose lack of opportunity has nothing to do with being less deserving and everything to do with marginalisation.

But who exactly are these groups?

For starters, Indigenous unemployment rates are 3.6 times higher than non-indigenous in Australia. This figure becomes more shocking in remote areas where the Indigenous unemployment rate rises to above 40%

How long might it take for refugees to gain employment once arrived in Australia?

Well, after being here for 18 months, 43% still find themselves jobless. For those emigrating from the Middle East, the unemployment rate is six times higher than the Australian average. The picture is not much better for those Australians with disabilities who now have less representation in the workforce than what they did 20 years ago. 

According to a 2014 study, the majority of former prisoners are homeless and/or unemployed within 6 months after their releaseone in three single parents are unemployed140,000 unemployed Australians are aged between 50-64youth unemployment is double that of the rest of the population and as high as 28% in some rural communities; transgender women make up an astonishing 12% of those living in homeless shelters while 60% of LGBTI people report homophobic verbal abuse in the workplace.

All candidates come from at least one of these categories and bring extraordinary emotional stories of challenge and sometimes trauma. And to top it all off they face the most employer discrimination and marginalisation in Australia.


A new perspective on employment potential

Multimillion-dollar entrepreneur with a focus on social good, Creel Price believes that ‘for profit’ and ‘for purpose’ can in reality be the same thing.

Creel started off his entrepreneurship at age 11 with a strawberry selling business to help supplement the income of his struggling NSW family farm during a prolonged drought. He eventually went on to co-found Blueprint Management Group in 1998 with $10,000, and 10 years later sold it for $109 million.

In 2010, Creel founded the not for profit social enterprise Club Kidpreneur Foundation to encourage primary school-aged children into entrepreneurship. So far, over $700,000 has been donated to charities across Australia and New Zealand from the profits of the micro enterprises launched by 12,000 kidpreneurs.

The selection process

Out of the hundreds of people who apply for this unparalleled opportunity, 40 are chosen to personally pitch their ideas to Creel and his team of mentors and business experts.

As a result of these meetings and a meticulous selection process, 12 people are chosen to take part in an intensive eight week boot camp where it is back to basics — no water, no showers and sleeping in tents. The candidates are presented with a series of challenges designed to test their resilience, reveal their real character and identify the natural potential leaders in the group.

“Everything we do in boot camp is really a metaphor for business,” says Creel of the chosen group challenges.

At the end of boot camp, the candidates nominate the business idea they like best out of those offered up by the other candidates and also choose which person they could work with best.

These results along with input from the mentors determine the six who will go on to develop their business startup – and potentially write their own success story…

Watch The Employables Wednesdays from 22 August at 8:30pm on SBS or now at SBS On Demand.

Challenging disadvantaged job seekers to start a million dollar business
Three-part documentary series The Employables premieres Wednesday, 22 August at 8.30pm on SBS