More than 100 young Victorians have received the vital help and training they need to get on the straight and narrow thanks to Mission Australia’s Synergy Auto Repairs Program.
The program, which is celebrating its fifth birthday, has repaired more than 3000 vehicles and offers a vital pathway to jobs or further training for young people with a history of motor vehicle offending.
Synergy’s commercial smash repair workshop in North Melbourne provides a full suite of services carried out by qualified staff assisted by young people in training.
Young people referred to the program commence a pre-apprenticeship over a six-month period and are then provided with an industry placement apprenticeship with support for up to two years including access to peer support and mentors.
Synergy was established in partnership between Mission Australia, Suncorp Insurance, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, and Bendigo Kangan Institute.
Victoria Police and the Department of Justice and Community Safety both provide referrals of young people to the program. Senior leaders from both organisations are also on the advisory board for the program.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested more than $1.2 billion over four years to build a modern, safe, and rehabilitative youth justice system.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 provided $45.5 million for new initiatives to strengthen the Youth Justice system, support rehabilitation and ensure the safety of staff, young people and the community.
New Youth Offending Programs have been rolled out in both custody and the community to help young people directly address their offending behaviour.
As stated by Minister for Youth Justice Ben Carroll
“Synergy is a great example of industry and the not-for-profit sector coming together to find solutions to problems that impact our whole community.”
“We’re overhauling our youth justice system, by investing in new targeted programs that drive young people away from further offending, which will make our community safer and improve the lives of young people.”