“Youth pathways and connection to industry is a key priority for the future economic development of the Echuca Moama region” stated Committee for Echuca Moama (C4EM) CEO Nina O’Brien.
This was the overarching message to the National Youth Commissioner; Major David Eldridge who hosted the first of many regional hearings across Australia in Moama on Monday.
The hearings aimed to undertake community wide consultation to build a reform agenda for education, and the preparation and support of young people for work now and into the future.
C4EM presented a range of data, issues and solutions to youth engagement and industry partnership through a wide-ranging presentation that focused on increasing the profile of trades, profiling local industry to parents, increasing numeracy and literacy of young people, promoting females in non-traditional occupations, encouraging local VET industry placement, evidence based research to understand skills demand, online platforms to promote local jobs, industry and professional development, addressing cross border issues of government funded programs, community leadership, and business management support.
“With a projected growth of 8.6% in the 12-24 age demographic in Campaspe Shire alone; the importance of supporting young people into sustainable work and education is crucial.”
“Both Year 12 and University attainment levels are well below the national average in the local region. With the gradual professionalisation of the workforce and reduction in the number of unskilled jobs, it is now more important than ever to support young people to stay at school, gain qualifications and transition into sustainable employment” Nina commented.
C4EM Member Dean Oberin of the American Hotel, a leading local employer of young people with 70% of staff aged under 25, provided a first-hand employer’s perspective. “The key attributes we look for is communication skills, a willingness to be flexible, and a genuine interest in people – the rest we can teach. Young people are dynamic, create energy and form an important part of our success in business” stated Dean.
The National Youth Commission heard from a wide range of other community organisations such as the Echuca Specialist School, Campaspe Cohuna LLEN, CVGT’s Transition to Work program, the Careers Teachers’ Network, Campaspe Shire Council, Echuca Moama Beacon Foundation and Bendigo TAFE. Young people contributed through a number of focus groups held on the day.
Leader in the youth and education development sector; Campaspe Cohuna LLEN commended the Campaspe Youth Partnerships as an innovative place-based model of collaboration and resource sharing between schools and service organisations to support young people to remain engaged in education. It is providing a variety of options to young people at risk of leaving school to help them enjoy and re-engage in learning, and plan for their future.
The Commission is posting updates on their website and on social media as the hearings progress in order for the community to keep up to date with their work.
C4EM is a member-based, independent and apolitical organisation that brings together the broad cross-section of the area’s private, public and not-for profit organisations to advocate for the issues and initiatives that will make Echuca Moama a better place to live, work and play.
C4EM’s key role is to collaborate on, advocate for and lead discussions about the issues and initiatives that will make Echuca Moama a better place to live, work and play.
Campaspe Cohuna LLEN is a community organisation that brokers partnerships that increase the rate of secondary school age students who are engaged in education or training, and connect young people to initiatives that meet their needs and improve their prospects of engaging in education, training and employment.
More information: https://yda.org.au/what-we-do/national-youth-commission-inquiry/