Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King today visited Ballarat Group Training to highlight the positive outcomes delivered by the Youth Connections program which supports young people in our community to reconnect to education, training and employment.
“Youth Connections re-engages young people who have left school in education and training to help them gain a year 12 or equivalent level qualification,” Ms King said.
“The program reaches many people who would otherwise be left to face a lifetime at risk of unemployment and lower earnings, with over 80 per cent of participants in work or study 18 months after completing the program.
In this region alone almost 1,400 young people have received practical individualised support which has given them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“However, all of these outcomes are at risk with the Abbott Government refusing to guarantee funding for the program beyond 2014.
“Partnership Broker funding for Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network (HLLEN) which supports school retention, education and employment pathways through coordinated partnerships with industry, schools, TAFE and community groups is also at risk.
“With the Federal Budget just days away, I urge the Tony Abbott to look closely at the performance of these programs and the difference they are making for young people in our region.
“It is absurd that we have a Prime Minister who is making threats to young Australians to ‘earn or learn’ at the same time as refusing to support programs that enable them to do just that.”