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Issue #1544      25 April 2012

Indigenous youth hit by Vic deficit

“Get Set For Work”, a program currently run in Queensland, successfully by Break Thru and funded by the Queensland government, was set to expand and reach over 60 Indigenous youth aged 15-17 years across 2012-2013. The Victorian government were set to support the expansion of the program into Victoria, until they announced a $341 million deficit and now the youth will go without.

The question is, “Is it fair?” A program that concentrates on educating, enabling and empowering Indigenous youth to enter the work force will not be feasible if the $1.5 million grant is not administered.

“With recent news of our Australian government announcing the potential to encourage and allow skilled USA workers to fulfil the demand in the country’s construction industry, how does this play fair to the Australians that are unemployed and willing to be trained to work?” says Danielle Ballantine, executive manager, Break Thru. She said “With the US unemployment rate reported to be at 8.3%, against some regions in Australia having an unemployment rate between 9.4% to 11.6%, what I can’t understand is why these companies would not choose from our Australian unemployment pool first?

“We not only believe, but know and trust the program works. We genuinely are asking for the community to help support such an amazing initiative that unlike utilising workers from overseas, it will up-skill the youth for our future and be a long term solution to a short term issue. We may not be able to change the future for our youth, however if we invest and up-skill them now, we can change our youth for the future.”  


Next article – Proposed aged care reforms no real solution

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