The Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, today announced that the Australian Government will reform its $618 million investment in transition programs to ensure that young Australians at risk of falling through the cracks get the support they need to get into training and work.
From 1 January 2010 existing Australian Government youth, transitions and career programs will be restructured into two new initiatives targeted at supporting young people who need the most help to get a job.
These important reforms complement the Compact with Young Australians that was announced by the Prime Minister at the Council of Australian Governments meeting last week.
“At a time of global recession, it is critical that we support young Australians to acquire the skills they need to secure their future.
“We know that young people who are disconnected from education and their community face the greatest risk of being hit the hardest during the economic down turn and recovery.
“These new arrangements will provide an improved safety net for youth at risk, helping them to re-connect with education or training and build the skills and confidence they need to move into the workforce and to contribute to our economic future.
Under the reforms the new Youth Connections initiative will focus on life skills to help youth at risk to re-engage with their community, training and the workforce.
The new Community and Education Engagement Partnerships initiative will broker partnerships between schools, business and the community to assist schools to extend learning beyond the classroom and improve educational outcomes.
The Australian Government will work closely with the States and Territories to put these new programs in place to establish clearer and more accessible pathways for young people when they need assistance.
The new arrangements will be implemented under a National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions which is expected to be finalised with the States and Territories by July 2009.
The Australian Government will make available an extra $100 million in total to support those States and Territories achieving outcomes under the National Partnership.
“This new co-operative approach between governments will simplify support for young people and make it easier for young Australians to get the skills and confidence they need to participate in the workforce,” said Ms Ellis.