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  • Writer's pictureSocial Scaffolding

Social Scaffolding 2024 newsletter + adopting AI in business.

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2024. 

We've had a number of significant projects and have delayed our first newsletter for the year so we could provide a more comprehensive update.  We hope you enjoy this update as well as our opinion piece on AI. 

As always if any of these stories or information resonate with your organisation please get in touch. 

Look forward to working with you in the next financial year.


Andrew Hamilton



AI events

AI events

As detailed in our previous newsletter, Social Scaffolding was awarded a DESBT grant to work with social enterprises on their learning and take up of AI. We have since hosted two lunch briefings in partnership with Artificial Workflow to explore AI opportunities and “Using AI to accelerate your Impact”. Several organisations have progressed their AI journey with us, including the following initiatives:

  • A peak body for social enterprises, to develop a governance framework and build and test six use cases from tender writing, impact statement development, and other operational activities

  • A Human Services provider to develop a governance framework and build and test eight use cases from policy repository, tender writing, interview analysis and social media content creator.

  • Several NDIS service providers using AI to determine internal compliance with the ever-changing and evolving NDIS service commitments, and using AI to report against NDIS plans overlayed to service provided, then identifying any gaps to be addressed.

We've also assisted several organisations to develop an AI governance framework to sit within their existing governance requirements including data storage, use of AI, regulatory compliance, and authorisation. 


On June the 10th, we will be hosting an online Q&A session about AI, as well as an additional presentation on the EchoBase platform. Please send an email if you would like to be part of this online session:

If you attended one of our lunch forums, this will also be a follow-up opportunity to hear about the projects that have progressed.


Do get in touch if you are interested in participating in this programme and exploring how AI could accelerate the impact of your work.


The AI adoption journey

Not-for-Profits and Social Enterprises

Navigating the AI Journey

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a transformative force reshaping industries, including not-for-profits and social enterprises. The journey to becoming an AI-centric organisation involves several phases, each with its own challenges and opportunities. This document outlines these phases to help organisations navigate the complex landscape of AI adoption.

Phase 1 - AI Frontier

In this initial phase, AI tools are used by employees without formal approval or governance, leading to risks in data security and privacy. Organisations struggle with limited control over AI usage and face difficulties in establishing clear guidelines.

Phase 2 - Islands of Experimentation

As organisations move beyond the initial phase, they start experimenting with AI in isolated pockets. This phase is critical for gaining awareness of AI usage, identifying potential applications, and formalising a strategy and governance approach to control AI usage before it escalates into larger issues.

Phase 3 - Corporate Centre of Excellence (COE)

To overcome the limitations of isolated experiments, organisations consolidate their AI efforts into a COE. This centralised approach aligns AI deliverables with strategic goals, facilitates knowledge sharing, and establishes a working governance framework. The COE ensures that AI projects become more impactful and central to achieving key objectives.

Phase 4 - Federation of Expertise (FOE)

As AI projects scale, resource constraints and backlogs may arise. The FOE model addresses these challenges by combining centralised processes with decentralised capabilities embedded within each business unit. This model balances autonomy and collaboration, allowing for more effective oversight and resource allocation.

Phase 5 - AI-Centric Organisation

In this final phase, AI is fully integrated into the organisation's strategy, driving mission-critical outcomes and creating lasting social impact. The organisation has established clear guidelines, empowered stakeholders, and strategically deployed AI technologies to navigate the complexities of AI adoption confidently.


Embarking on the journey towards AI adoption is complex but rewarding. By understanding and progressing through each phase, organisations can drive sustainable growth, enhance service delivery, and achieve their mission more effectively.


Federal funding

Social enterprises + employment pathways

Federal Funding

The Federal Government previously announced social enterprise funding end of last year, and this months new federal budget - launched 2 new initiatives. The government is making significant investments in employment pathways for people facing employment disadvantage, and this is an important milestone to be aware of and to position your organisation to create these employment outcomes that have been advocated for by many, for many years.  

During our nine year history Social Scaffolding has worked with many organisations creating employment outcomes for people facing employment barriers as well as these much needed employment pathways. We have worked with Australian Disability Enterprises (now referred to as Supported Employment providers), and NDS for the last two years, advocating for this funding as well as supporting organisations to change to this creation of employment pathways and improved outcomes for their employees. In addition, we have:

  • worked with social enterprises to accelerate their business to create more employment opportunities

  • conducted market research to identify new revenue streams for organisations that inturn creates more employment

  • mentored the start-up phase of new social enterprises

  • provided guidance on new employment initiatives within existing not-for-profits

  • worked one-on-one with people facing barriers to employment in a structured mentoring program

  • worked with jobactive and Workforce Australia providers to improve partnerships with social enterprises

  • created Shared Value initiatives between corporates and not-for-profits to enable pathways into open employment 

We have witnessed fantastic stories, enabled innovative examples, and helped organisations grow - but there is more to do. This investment by the Federal Government will be a game changer for many. Social Scaffolding look forward to working with more organisations as they review their employment opportunities, focus on delivering and selling more products and services so that they can employ more people, and creating these essential employment pathways.  

$54 million for paid employment pathways

The Federal Governments new ‘Paid Employment Pathways Package’ will invest $54 million to trial two new work programs:

The WorkFoundations initiative will invest $21.9 million to assist people with complex barriers to employment to build their work readiness, with funding for social enterprises and businesses to deliver paid employment placements of up to six months with tailored, wrap-around supports. This program is due to start in July 2025. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for funding to provide paid placements at full award wages with fully funded wraparound supports 

Real Jobs, Real Wages ($32.1M) will support jobseekers experiencing long-term unemployment to build their capabilities by providing a tapered subsidy over six months - to employers who can provide secure and supportive job opportunities. The Real Jobs, Real Wages initiative will invest $32.1 million with program is due to start in July 2024. The eligibility criteria for the wage subsidy under the “Real Jobs, Real Wages” initiative are as follows:

  • Employment Status: The position offered must be ongoing and for a minimum of 30 hours per week full-time or 15 hours per week part-time.

  • Business Requirements: An organisation must have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered with Workforce Australia Online for Businesses.

  • Employee Age: The employee hired must be either 15 to 29 years old, an Indigenous Australian, 50 years or older, supported by Disability Employment Services, a parent, or registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.


Social Enterprise Development Initiative (SEDI) $11.6m

Social Enterprise Development Initiative | Department of Social ServicesSEDI will provide capability building grants of up to $120,000 to support eligible social enterprises to grow their impact. The grants will be targeted towards supporting social enterprises to be more effective and efficient in demonstrating and increasing social impact for the vulnerable individuals and communities they exist to support. Grants will be used to purchase business and impact capability building services from intermediaries, such as financial services, evaluation and impact measurement, business services and legal advice.

Expressions of Interest and applications for SEDI Grants are expected to open by mid-2024.


Queensland Home Care Workforce 

Queensland Home Care Workforce

Support program: reports, forum + website

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland with Consortium partners, Skills Hubs and Skills Generation were contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care to attract, train, and support the attraction and retention of Personal Care Workers (PCWs) across Queensland over 2 years, through the Home Care Workforce Support Program (HCWSP).

As part of the wrap-up and reporting of this ground-breaking project, Social Scaffolding has been developing resources for the sector, reviewing and reporting on the impact of the project, preparing the website content and organising the final showcase Forums. When the final website is live (, please take the time to review the project and the recommendations for workforce solutions. These recommendations are relevant for many human service providers, that are facing workforce shortages to varying degrees.


Social Scaffolding acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.



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