More investment needed in youth sector for COVID-19 recovery

STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO 2022-23 VICTORIAN BUDGET

The 2022-23 Victorian Budget invests in the education, employment and health of young people, but leaves out the crucial role of the youth sector in Victoria’s pandemic repair plan.

Read our full analysis here

More funding is needed for the youth sector, which is critical in providing support for young people and would reduce the current and future burden on overstretched crisis services across the housing, justice and health systems.

“Youth work matters. Youth workers and youth services have been pivotal on the frontline, supporting young people through a generation-defining pandemic,” says Katherine Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic).

“As Victoria rebounds socially and economically, youth workers are needed more than ever to create a better future for young people.”

Major announcements across education, employment and health include:

  • $779m to recruit 1,900 extra teachers and reduce teaching hours
  • $131m to increase literacy and numeracy skills
  • $279m to combine VCAL and VCE and increase support staff in vocational education
  • $132.8m for a sick pay guarantee pilot for casual workers
  • Significant investment in health across hospitals, nurses, ambulances and mental health services

The budget also includes small, targeted funding for some youth-specific initiatives, including Youth Live4Life, Navigator, Empower and Ladder Step-Up, as well as training opportunities in sport and recreation.

YACVic looks forward to the impending release of Victoria’s new Youth Strategy. Developed in consultation with over 1200 young people across 2020-21, it will provide a new vision for young people and their future development in Victoria.

“We expect the new Youth Strategy to be ambitious, and hope for additional funding for the youth sector to match that ambition,” says Ms Ellis.

“Young people have sacrificed so much for the greater good of the community throughout the pandemic. Now the Victorian Government has a responsibility to invest more in making Victoria the best place in the world to be a young person.”

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YACVic's full analysis will be made available on Thursday 5 May 2022.

Media contact: Thomas Feng (he/him), YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0431285275 for any interviews. 

Katherine Ellis (she/her), YACVic CEO is available for interviews and analysis. Young people interested in youth advocacy are also available. 

 About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and youth workers in Victoria. Our vision is that the rights of young people in Victoria are respected, and they are active, visible and valued in their communities.