RDA Northern Rivers is committed to working with government, training services and industry to support youth employment pathways within our region. Youth unemployment has decreased to less than 10 per cent in most parts of the region in recent years. However, that number is still too high and programs to support young people into employment are needed.
Training Services NSW has collaborated with the collective of councils, the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, to facilitate liaison with council leaders and is currently working with the regional councils, education providers and industry to support local youth employment initiatives.
Two local government projects currently underway in our region, providing real pathways for young people transitioning into employment, address the issue directly with affected youth and through school-based training. The project also highlights the diverse range of career opportunities available within Local Government.
Byron Shire Council is currently engaged in a Youth focused Pre-employment Program to assist young people to transition into work. The Future Youth Program is a collaboration between Byron Regional Community College and the Council. The program was created to provide opportunities for young people aged between 17 and 24, to introduce them to a range of workplace environments and develop essential skills that could increase their chances of securing employment in the region.
Further north, Tweed Shire Council is working with industry and school careers advisors through the Tweed School Industry Network. The aim of the network is to provide a forum where industry and schools can connect to support opportunities around meeting the current skill needs of industry. It includes work experience, work placement, school-based apprenticeship and traineeship and career advice for students. Through working with industry, Tweed Shire Council aims to identify skills shortages and support ways of learning through real industry experience, as well as in school.
Damon McCarthy, Senior Project Officer with Training Services NSW says our local councils play an important role in addressing the barriers to youth employment in our region.
“I encourage all councils to support local youth based initiatives, be it supporting students at school or youth looking to gain employability skills”