Building The Skills And Confidence Of Young Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government is helping more students gain skills and get involved in their local community, thanks to continued funding for the school-based Advance program.

Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos today visited staff and students at the Victorian College for the Deaf which is one of 430 government secondary schools that will share in $9 million to support the delivery of Advance over the next two years.

The College has participated in Advance since 2016 and receives close to $10,000 to support the ‘Hands On Learning Program’ enabling students to lead community based projects and volunteer around their school community.

The 2018-10 round includes funding to support new schools joining the program for the first time, such as Preston’s Pavilion School of Charles La Trobe P-12 College, Coburg High School, the Flexible Learning Options campus of Maryborough Education Centre, and the two new campuses of Sydney Road Community School – the Brunswick Learning Space and Coburg Teaching Unit.

Key to the ongoing success of the Advance program is its focus on partnerships between young people and their communities to build their skills and confidence through practical, hands-on learning and recognised training in areas such as food handling, construction and fire safety.

More than 25,000 young people participated in the 2017 Advance program, of which 15 per cent identified as having a disability and 18 per cent identified as having a culturally and linguistically diverse background.

Eight out of 10 participating students reported a clearer identification of potential career pathways as a result of the program, with 79 per cent continuing their involvement in volunteering activities beyond the program. Forty-four per cent of school campuses were located in regional Victoria, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Castlemaine, Gippsland, Horsham, Geelong and the Yarra Ranges.

Schools delivering the program also reported that partner organisations had gained an increased understanding of youth issues, and the valuable contribution that young people had made to the work of their organisation.

The Labor Government is providing opportunities for young people to reach their full potential, as outlined by the Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria. For more information, visit youthcentral.vic.gov.au/get-involved.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos

“The results are in – Advance is clearly helping young people be more engaged in the community and helping them with their future career prospects.”

“Our continued investment in Advance is helping build the confidence and skills of young Victorians, so they can reach their full potential and live the lives they dream.”

Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Philip Dalidakis

“This is great news for young people in Prahran and right across the state – it means more opportunity for them to get out there and be a part of their local community, learn skills and give back.”