Training program leaves no youth behind

Young people living in Broadmeadows who have been “left behind” will get more help accessing vocational training and employment as part of a new state government program.

The $20 million Reconnect Program will help 48 organisations across the state to support young people who left school early or who are long-term unemployed prepare for training and work.

Locally, the program will be run by AMES Australia, which received $363,000 to help it reach out to 50 unemployed young people and new migrants.

Latest employment statistics show that six per cent of early school leavers in Hume are not in training or employment, compared to the state average of 5.5 per cent.

Participants in the Reconnect Program will be paired with a volunteer mentor who shares a similar cultural background and language to help them achieve their training and work goals.

Opportunity for all

Training and Skills Minister Steve Herbert, who launched the program at AMES in Dallas earlier this month, said it was about ensuring no one missed out on the opportunity to get a quality job.

“Often young people lack the confidence and skills to get into formal training. This extra funding will make sure there is support in place so vulnerable young people can improve their lives,” he said.

“We’re helping early school leavers take a step forward to get back into training, education and into a job.”

AMES chief executive Catherine Scarth said she believed the program would help young people who had disengaged from the system and had been left behind.

“We believe this program will help young people who are struggling to engage with education and work get back on to a pathway,” she said.