FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is inviting organisations in Far North Queensland to put forward fresh and innovative ideas that will help vulnerable young Australians find and keep a job.
It comes after Minister for Employment, Senator Michaelia Cash released the grant guidelines for the new Empowering YOUth Initiatives, inviting organisations to apply for funding to deliver projects that help young people at risk of welfare dependency into work.
Mr Entsch said: “The Government recognises that some young people face greater barriers to finding and holding onto a job than their peers – such as those who leave school early or come from a different cultural background.
“These vulnerable young people face greater challenges and have a higher risk of long-term unemployment and a life of welfare dependency.
“That’s why we’re asking community organisations to put forward proposals for innovative projects that offer a different approach to those currently available. We’ll be investing $50 million in the Empowering YOUth Initiatives to give our young people the extra help they need to move into work,” said Mr Entsch.
The first round of projects set up under the Empowering YOUth Initiatives will focus on young people who are living in regional areas with high levels of social disadvantage, early school leavers, Indigenous, or from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
The Empowering YOUth Initiatives are part of the $331 million Youth Employment Strategy announced in the 2015-16 Budget, and follows the release of guidelines last month for the new Transition to Work service, a further Government initiative to tackle youth unemployment.
Minister Michaelia Cash said the Government is keen to leverage off the local knowledge and experience of community organisations working closely with vulnerable young people.
“We really want to encourage not-for-profit community organisations to think outside the square and run innovative projects to engage with those who are most at risk of being consigned to a lifetime of welfare dependency,” Minister Cash said.
“This could be an innovative way to prevent unemployment, remove barriers to employment or, just as importantly, sustain employment.”
The learnings from these trials will be used to shape future service delivery to achieve better employment outcomes for young people.
The first round of projects will commence from March 2016. Information sessions for interested organisations will be held in capital cities during November and via online webinars.
For more information and eligibility details, please visit: www.employment.gov.au/employment-services-procurement-information