State budget funding saves Wyndham youth program

A learning and employment network that is trying to relieve youth unemployment in Wyndham and Hobsons Bay is among the winners from this year’s state budget.

The state government says it will honour its pre-election commitment to fund Victoria’s 21 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN) with $32 million, safeguarding a program that helps young people at risk of dropping out of school.

The LLENs were previously funded by the federal government, but the money was cut from last year’s federal budget, putting at risk the services statewide.

The WynBay LLEN had its budget slashed by $2.3 million.

The group has helped about 16,000 young people in Wyndham and Hobsons Bay to access learning and employment programs, such as the Australian apprenticeships access program and the Alternative Pathways program, which provides alternative education pathways for young people.

Youth unemployment in the western suburbs has risen to 13 per cent, but local youth workers say as many as 25 per cent of people under 25 don’t have jobs.

Network executive director Dallian D’Cruz said one in five young people in the region left school early, with Wyndham and Hobsons Bay schools reporting up to 17 per cent of students at risk of leaving education. He welcomed the state government’s funding pledge.


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