Young Victorians, their teachers and future employers have come together with the Andrews Labor Government in the Loddon Campaspe region today to build better pathways between school and work.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes, Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney, Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards heard from 80 young people on how to tackle youth unemployment.
The Bendigo forum was organised by the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership, which has identified youth unemployment as a major priority for the region.
Loddon Campaspe has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the state, with one in five young people not completing Year 12, and half not continuing with training or education after Year 12 despite many jobs requiring higher qualifications.
The forum was an opportunity for the community to highlight barriers to youth employment, explore solutions relevant to the region and discuss what role government can play in combatting the issue.
This forum is the first in a series of events that will be held with every Regional Partnership around the state.
By focusing on a single issue, these events will allow local people to have productive discussions with relevant ministers, working towards real solutions.
The Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership is one of nine such bodies across Victoria which were established by the Labor Government in 2016. Over the past three years, Regional Partnerships have heard from thousands of community members and organisations, addressing issues relevant to each region.
The Labor Government has delivered on key health priorities identified by the Loddon Campaspe Partnership, with the $5 million Healthy Heart of Victoria project getting local people more active, more often, and the Keep In Touch van, designed by local young people, travelling around the region promoting positive mental health messages.
As stated by Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes
“We’re getting government ministers together across regional Victoria to hear from communities about important issues – and that starts here in Bendigo.”
“I’m looking forward to listening to young people who know first-hand about the obstacles that can get in the way of finding a good job.”
“This is about giving people a voice because everyone deserves the chance to build a fulfilling career.”
As noted by Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership chair Dave Richardson,
“Youth unemployment is a major issue in Bendigo and throughout Loddon Campaspe but there are things which can be done. The Partnership is determined to help address this issue and a focused forum is a great next step.”