The Minister for Education Julia Gillard today announced that plans to deliver better career and tertiary education services to young Australians were now ready to be rolled out by the States and Territories.
Speaking with the Education Ministers from each of the States and Territories, Ms Gillard said the partnership was a collaborative effort by the Ministers to improve the future prospects of our youth.
The Commonwealth is providing over $200 million over the next four years so each jurisdiction can develop programs designed to encourage students to stay in school until year 12 and on to further education.
In addition the Commonwealth will utilise $47 million for national career development initiatives.
The funds were committed following a COAG decision last year to see 90 per cent of young people attain Year 12 (or equivalent) by 2015.
Ms Gillard thanked each Minister for their efforts in developing comprehensive implementation plans.
Each State has tailor-made their implementation plans to address local employment needs and improve the long-term employability of our youth.
Programs supported by these funds will provide a range of local services including:
- individual career development sessions for students,
- local mentoring programs,
- improved work experience opportunities,
- more targeted vocational pathways for years 9 and 10 students, and
- courses better aligned with local and regional labour markets.
Ms Gillard said the global recession and a lack of investment in local skills had led to an over-reliance on migrant labour at the cost of youth employment.
We must not allow the young people who lose their job today become the long term unemployed of tomorrow.
To address this, the Rudd Government is focused on delivering programs that sets school leavers on a long-term career path either through vocational training or higher education.
The funding is part of the Commonwealth’s $723 million National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions fund, announced at COAG last year.
Other programs funded under this national partnership include the Youth Connections Program, which ensures at-risk youth stay in school and the School Business Community Partnership Brokers program to improve the connection between businesses and schools.