Government Funds Dry Up for Youth Projects
23 October 2013 at 10:04 am
A nationally recognised youth-transition-to-employment Not for Profit, Youth Connect may have to shut down three of its major projects because of changes to Federal and State funding arrangements.
The Melbourne-based organisation says that due to changes in the Federal and State Government funding three programs which are delivered to young people by Youth Connect will cease on December 31.
The programs at risk include Work This Way, a Youth Employment program for young people aged 15-25 aimed at securing a minimum of eight hours employment per week; Wheelly Good Coffee, which is a social enterprise which provides both accredited and non-accredited training to young people who are deemed disadvantaged or at risk of disengaging from education; and Right Step –a Youth Diversion program supporting young people aged 10-18 to prevent re-offending whilst encouraging and assisting young people to participate in less risk taking behavior.
Youth Connect’s General Manager Daniela Ascone says the election of the new Coalition Federal Government has put future funding in doubt and a Victorian Government’s move to divert its funding to employer-based organisations has also put the well established and successful projects in jeopardy.
“At a Federal level we need to keep youth employment on the agenda and need to maintain programs so we don’t have to start from scratch when the funding does arrive,” Ascone says.
“We are calling out to all corporate companies, philanthropists, local businesses and individuals to assist with financial support for Youth Connect to ensuring that these programs continue until we can secure additional funding via philanthropic trusts and Governments early in 2014.
“Our goal is to secure $200,000 by 20 December 2013. This will ensure that the three programs continue into early 2014 which will give us more time to allow us to secure funding to make the programs sustainable.
“For 21 years, Youth Connect has delivered youth transition and school to industry, parent engagement and employment programs. Based in Moorabbin, Victoria, we predominately service the South Eastern/Inner City suburbs however we deliver a State and Federal Government funded programs and are a nationally recognised organisation.
“Our programs and services was accessed by almost 2000 young people in 2012 and 2013 is tipped to have serviced over 3200 young people.
“Our programs have provide opportunities to young people to make a successful transition through completion of Year 12, or its equivalent, and ultimately to further education, training or employment and active participation in the community. In addition to this, we believe that we are supporting business and industry to identify future employees.”
Ascone says the Not for Profit has also been working closely with HEAT (Hospitality Employment and Training) – a practical youth re-engagement program delivered from the SKYS Training Centre in South Melbourne which has also had it’s funding government funding cut back.
“We are heavily lobbying Governments to continue to fund us and to show them the value of the projects for young people,” Ascone says.
Daniela Ascone can be contacted via Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 8306 6300.