The Youth Affairs Council Victoria today welcomed the Napthine Government’s commitment of $1 million to help secondary students plan for a career.

The Government will work with the Beacon Foundation to give secondary school students experience in resume writing, job interviews, and learning about employer expectations in the workplace.  The Beacon Foundation has pledged to match the funds with another $1 million.

This announcement formed part of the Government’s Youth Employment Strategy, which also includes $40 million in vouchers for small businesses to help them employ eligible young people, along with $22.8 million in payroll tax exclusions and $12.4 million to enable businesses that employ an eligible young person for 12 months to have a full WorkCover rebate premium for a year.

“Moves to support more young people into work are extremely important,” commented YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari, who welcomed the focus on this important policy area. “The unemployment rate for young people has risen in almost all Victorian regions this year.

“However, we also need to look at the bigger picture. The 2014 federal budget saw Commonwealth funds slashed from the Youth Connections program, which had helped thousands of Victoria’s most vulnerable young people re-engage with study and become job-ready. Young people who face significant problems with literacy, mental health, homelessness or family breakdown need specialist support to enter the workforce.”

Work prospects for young Victorians have also been damaged by the federal government’s decision to cease funding Victoria’s Local Learning and Employment Networks, a state-wide system of partnership brokers which bring together businesses, trainers, schools and communities to devise collaborative local solutions to youth unemployment. While the Napthine Government has pledged $8 million to continue the work of the LLENs for twelve months, the future of this valuable model remains uncertain.

“To get more young people into sustainable, meaningful employment, we need strong partnerships at a local level,” Ms Ferrari commented. “We also need intensive, case-managed support for those young people who are disengaged from school and work, who would otherwise struggle to get a foot in the door.” 

For further comment contact Georgie Ferrari on 0411 484 428.