CoAct, in partnership with Youth Projects, has been awarded exclusive rights to run the Australian Government’s Transition to Work (TtW) program in Western Melbourne. The employment program for 15- to 24-year-olds will be delivered on the ground by long-time CoAct service partner, Youth Projects.

CoAct CEO, Matt Little, says this achievement recognises Youth Projects’ exceptional service and results delivering TtW in the Northwest Melbourne region. Over the past 6 years since TtW’s inception, Youth Projects has helped 1,700 young people into work or training.

“Western Melbourne is renowned for being one of the most competitive regions in past Employment Services bids. This is solid recognition of Youth Projects’ efforts and expertise. We look forward to continuing their award-winning services in the region.”

TtW’s Western Melbourne region stretches from Melton to Werribee and from Bacchus Marsh to Footscray. It’s one of the fastest-growing areas in Australia, with the LGAs of Wyndham and Melton in the top 5 LGAs nationally for growth in 2017-2018. Youth unemployment across Western Melbourne was at 18.8% pre-pandemic, almost double the national rate for young people in the same period.

Western Melbourne has a diverse labour market profile that presents significant employment opportunities for young people across a wide range of skill-in-demand industries.

“The TtW program is a wonderful, customer-centred, flexible program that achieves incredibly high levels of sustained impact for the participants. Specialist programs like TtW are at the heart of the recent increase in youth employment, helping highly disadvantaged young people to develop practical skills to get a job or connect with education or training.”

Mr Little says TtW has also been an invaluable service to young people affected by the pandemic.

“Young people – and young people in Melbourne particularly – have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. We’ve been there to help them navigate the challenges it’s brought and will continue to do so.”

“Young people in the west of Melbourne need us most right now, and we aren’t going to sit around waiting for them to find us. We’re taking our highly successful model from the north-west of Melbourne to the west. We’ll meet young people where they’re at and provide the opportunities they desperately need right now.” said Ben Vasiliou, CEO, Youth Projects.

“This is no ordinary jobs program. Our new approach has embedded mental health supports to help young people recover from the pandemic and build resilience for their future.”

TtW gives young people access to other services including accredited vocational training and education. Youth Projects works closely with young people to ensure a holistic response to their immediate situation. With the right support, young people can sustain long-term social and economic participation.

In addition to mental health supports, Youth Projects also provides help for alcohol, other drugs and other complex issues, ensuring young jobseekers receive the most effective support based on their needs.

Young jobseekers like Letisya know all too well the challenges of finding work. Having only arrived in Australia in 2019 as a refugee, Letisya knew very little English and was wondering where to even begin re-starting her life in Melbourne. After being connected to Youth Projects’ TtW program and a bi-lingual youth-specialist worker, she went on to complete two Certificate qualifications during lockdowns. She’s now completing a third, specialising in Information & Technology to launch into the recovering job market.

CoAct is extremely proud of its success in the TtW program over the past 6 years, having helped 9,500 young people through the program across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

“We want to recognise the incredible results achieved by our TtW partners IMPACT Community Services, SkillsPlus, The Personnel Group and Youth Projects. They’ve delivered exceptional outcomes for young people at risk in their communities.”

“It’s been an extraordinary effort creating long-lasting employment and training opportunities, and the positive flow-on effects that come from that for young people and their wider communities.”

CoAct and Youth Projects know that increased educational attainment is linked to individuals leading longer and healthier lives. For every dollar invested in TtW programs, ten times that is returned to the economy over a young person’s life.

As part of the 2021–22 Federal Budget, the government announced the continuation and expansion of TtW, confirming that a further $481.2 million will be invested into the service over the next 4 years from 2022.

CoAct and Youth Projects will start delivering TtW in Western Melbourne from 1 July 2022. For more information about the program, click here.

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