A program providing training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged young people which is tackling NSW’s skills shortage will be extended for two years in the Illawarra and Eurobodalla regions.
The NSW Government is investing more than $700,000 in the Illawarra and Eurobodalla Youth Employment Strategy (YES) programs, which have been operating successfully since 2016 and 2019 respectively.
YES programs collaborate with local businesses, government, industries and registered training organisations to co-ordinate skills development and work opportunities in key growth areas.
Young jobseekers involved with YES programs are given access to mentoring, work placements and skills training, including traineeships and apprenticeships.
Many young people have been helped into careers in sectors where demand for workers outstrips supply, including aged care, childcare, construction, hospitality, and transport.
The ongoing investment in the programs will see more intensive and targeted support to encourage young people into training and employment.
Minister for the Illawarra and the South Coast Ryan Park said the Government was able to tackle local youth unemployment and provide life-changing opportunities throuhgh program like this.
“We’re proud to support practical grassroots solutions to local issues which will continue to benefit the local economy.”
Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education Steve Whan said the Illawarra and Eurobodalla YES programs work directly with local employers to address labour shortages and help build skilled workforces.
“It’s a win-win for the community, helping businesses to thrive and providing disadvantaged young people with a springboard to a rewarding career.”
Minister for Youth Rose Jackson said it was great to see the YES programs extended.
“Particularly after it has provided training and employment opportunities to so many young people on NSW’s South Coast,” Ms Jackson said.
“Gaining professional skills is a great way to grow your confidence, and we are proud to see this successful initiative will be continued into the future.”
During the past two years, the Illawarra YES delivered or supported 40 programs that assisted 385 young people, with approximately 67 per cent progressing to direct employment.
The Eurobodalla YES program supported 489 participants through one-on-one support, with 42 per cent of them continuing on to direct employment.
A large number of participants from both programs have also continued on to further training.
Both programs ran throughout the challenging COVID-19 period which caused significant uncertainty for young people who were leaving school or returning to the workforce.
Image: Rose Jackson