Youth job help may be cut

Could go: South West Connect's Explorabilities program is one of several which will be cut if the service provider has its funding slashed by the federal government.

Could go: South West Connect's Explorabilities program is one of several which will be cut if the service provider has its funding slashed by the federal government.

THE future is looking bleak for young people involved in youth transition programs across Fairfield and Liverpool, with speculation that the federal government will cut its funding for the School Business Community Partnership Brokers at the end of the year.

At press time yesterday, a cut of $740,000 in service funding was expected to be announced in last night's federal budget.

South West Connect chief executive Carol Richardson said the funding enabled South West Connect to address employment issues in Fairfield and Liverpool.

She said future programs that linked students to business and community groups would also cease without the funding.

"I believe cutting the Partnership Brokering funding and ending such an important local service would have a severe impact on the ability of young people to transition to paid work in the Fairfield and Liverpool areas," she said. "Especially at a time when youth unemployment is at 16.2 per cent in Fairfield-Liverpool for March 2014 and continues to rise nationally."

She said South West Connect, serving as a partnership broker in Fairfield and Liverpool, had helped 5702 young people, 36 high schools and 20 primary schools through 35 partnerships with local business and community groups.

"It's brokered partnerships such as Try a Trade which allowed over 1400 students to try a trade and interact with 40 local employers."

Fowler MP Chris Hayes would be disappointed if funds were cut. "In our area unemployment rates for youth are particularly higher than the national average," he said.

"South West Connect plays a significant role in helping young people gain future employment so this government is clearly turning its back on the youth."

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