Innovative approaches to help more young people into work in the Riverina

The Nationals’ Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack has congratulated Apprentices and Trainees Employment Limited on its success with an application for funding through the second round of Empowering YOUth Initiatives.

Empowering YOUth Initiatives seeks to empower young people who are disengaged from the workforce or school and who face complex issues affecting their future.

Twenty one organisations will be offered the opportunity to join 19 existing organisations to deliver new approaches that assist young people overcome barriers to getting employment.

“I’m pleased Apprentices and Trainees Employment Limited in Wagga Wagga was one of the successful applicants and will now be offered the opportunity to deliver an exciting new initiative to support young people in the Riverina,” Mr McCormack said.

“Apprentices and Trainees Employment Limited will facilitate participation for young people in the Road2Wheelsmentoring-based driver education program.

“Young people who participate in this program will receive financial planning and employability skills training, including interview techniques, understanding employer expectations and job search techniques.

Participants will also be supported to get their driver’s licence, secure a job and achieve their goal of purchasing a vehicle.

“This support is vital for young people to engage in the search for employment, provides them with a reason to get out of bed every day, and when they find that sought-after job, gives them a sense of self-worth and a positive approach to life.

“It’s these outside of the square, innovative approaches developed and delivered by the community and not-for-profit organisations which are key to helping our young people into jobs.                                                                    

“The Government is supporting these yet-to-be tested ideas because it is worth every effort to tackle youth unemployment.

“Initiatives such as the Road2Wheels program, which are often community driven, are vital in our area to support our young people on their journey to employment.

Applicants in Round 2 of Empowering YOUth Initiatives applied for grant funding of up to $5 million to deliver initiatives over two years to young people aged from 15 to 24. Each of the 21 successful organisations was selected for their experience and innovative approach.

The Department of Employment will partner with the successful organisations to support evaluation of each initiative, informing new policies and programs targeted at young people.

“Early intervention can mean the difference between a young person taking their first steps into a productive and happy working life or entering a life of welfare dependency,” Mr McCormack said.

Empowering YOUth Initiatives is part of the Government’s Youth Employment Strategy announced in the Growing Jobs and Small Business Package in the 2015–16 Budget.

For more information on Empowering YOUth Initiatives and other support available for young people under the Government’s Youth Employment Strategy visit:

Cristy Houghton