Funds to assist Melton youth to reconnect

VCAL co-ordinator and teacher Adele Ouslinis works with a young man. Picture: Joe Mastroianni

Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services has been given almost $1 million for a program designed to engage vulnerable youth with training opportunities.

The funding is part of the state government’s Reconnect program to help early school-leavers or long-term unemployed young people prepare for training and work.

Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services chief executive Trish Heffernan said the program allowed ‘Reconnect coaches’ to work one-on-one with young people from 16-24.

“It’s not just about getting them into the job, but supporting them while they’re training or in the job,” Ms Heffernan said.

“And we’ll be working with them to address any barriers they identify.”

Ms Heffernan said there was a “real gap” for similar services last year after the federal government cut funding for the Youth Connections program in December, 2014.

“There’s been a real gap for services to young people … so it’s great to see the state government announce funding.

“And the federal government introduced the TTW [Transition to Work] program this year, so there are two programs for young people.”

The program is expected to be rolled out in the next financial year.

For more information about eligibility criteria, call 87461000.