Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King today criticised the decision of the Abbott Government to axe funding for youth programs that support young people into jobs and study.
“Tony Abbott has turned his back on young people in our community by refusing to support programs that deliver real benefits by providing education and employment pathways to the future,” Ms King said.
“Seven specialised staff that deliver the Youth Connections program from the Ballarat Learning Exchange (BLX), provide specialised one-on-one case management to re-engage young people who have left school in education and training.
“Approximately 350 people per year who would otherwise be left to face a lifetime at risk of unemployment and lower earnings receive assistance from the program to gain a year 12 or equivalent level qualification.
“Just last week I met with a group of young women who told me their stories and how the program has changed their lives.
“Without this support there would be almost 1,400 young people in our community left to fall between the cracks.
“By cutting funding for Youth Connections, Tony Abbott is denying hundreds of young people in our community each year an opportunity to remove barriers to education and employment.
“Along with higher university fees plus restrictions for Newstart and Youth Allowance, the Abbott Government has demonstrated a flawed ideology through a series of decisions that threaten to lead disadvantaged young people into a vicious poverty cycle with nowhere to turn to.”