Employment service provider Communicare has welcomed new funding for youth employment initiatives announced last week by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the 2021 Federal Budget.
In particular, the organisation has highlighted the $481.2 million over four years to expand the Transition to Work program, which provides specialist youth employment services for young people aged 15 to 24.
Communicare’s Director of Education, Employment and Training, Ben Oxford, said the funding was “a significant investment in young people and their future employment opportunities”.
“Communicare has been delivering the Transition to Work program from our Cannington and Armadale offices for five years now, working with more than 730 young people at any one time,” Mr Oxford said.
“Our Transition to Work program provides young job seekers with intensive pre-employment skills to improve work-readiness, enabling education to be completed and, ultimately, for them to successfully enter employment.
“Our program ranks in the top 20 nationally for employment placement and in a recent survey of 140 young people, 95 per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.
“I believe the success we have had in connecting young people to jobs stems from our organisation’s focus on ‘Creating Futures’ – we care about the needs of the young people we work with and supporting them to find meaningful employment.
“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked closely with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to activate online appointments and remote work-readiness training, which resulted in a 75 per cent increase in participant numbers.
“Emerging from the other side of COVID, we’ve seen growth in apprenticeship opportunities and vacancies in the mining, resources, industrial and manufacturing sectors, along with more jobs in hospitality, retail and warehousing,” he said.
Mr Oxford said Communicare had been an Australian Government service provider in the youth employment space since 1995, supporting more than 10,000 young people into work across Perth and parts of regional Western Australia.
He said the organisation’s Employment, Education and Training directorate has an active caseload of 5,000 students, participants and clients at any given time.
In a post-Budget statement, Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services, the Hon Luke Howarth MP, said strengthening the highly successful Transition to Work program would ensure more young people have the best opportunity to secure employment or go on to further study.
“Transition to Work, now included in the ‘New Employment Services Model’, will support an average caseload of 41,000 disadvantaged young people per year with help from dedicated youth specialist services,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.
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