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Support for Local Project to Tackle Youth Unemployment


Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today announced that Wentworth Community Housing of Penrith had progressed to the second stage of a $10 million NSW Government funding program to help tackle youth unemployment in the region.

Mr Ayres said Wentworth Community Housing’s ‘Strive’ project was among 17 projects that successfully pitched for financial support at an event in Sydney earlier this month.

“The Youth Employment Innovation Challenge is bringing communities and government together on innovative projects to assist disadvantaged young people aged 15-24 into work or training to help overcome youth unemployment,” Mr Ayres said.

“I’m delighted Wentworth Community Housing has got through to this stage.

“They will now get training, mentoring and up to $100,000 in funding to develop their ideas into workable business models which can be rolled out locally.

“Their ‘Strive‘ project is a new initiative to train, support and employ vulnerable young people to provide maintenance services to frail aged and disabled social housing tenants, which will help them gain employment skills. It will be delivered in partnership with Platform Youth Services of Penrith who will focus on case management, mental health and wellbeing,” he said.

Wentworth CEO, Stephen McIntyre said “We know that young people who grow up in neighbourhoods where there is concentrated disadvantage can struggle finding and maintaining employment. We also know that many of our older social and affordable housing tenants can have difficulties maintaining their homes.

At Wentworth, we think we can make a difference to both groups by employing young people to deliver that service to older people. We’re really grateful for the Youth Employment Innovation Challenge funding as we explore how we can make that innovative idea work.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW and Skills John Barilaro said the Youth Employment Innovation Challenge is all about finding new ways to help young people in some of the state’s worst unemployment hotspots find a pathway to work. Successful projects that make it through to the third and final stage may be able to access up to $850,000 in funding.

“Having a job is one of the best ways to boost someone’s sense of self-worth and empowerment. The Youth Employment Innovation Challenge is all about getting young people into jobs and I congratulate the individuals and businesses that have chosen to help us make a real difference” he said.

The $10 million program is focusing on projects that can support areas of NSW with high youth unemployment including the Central Coast/Hunter, Illawarra, North Coast, New England/North West, Southern Highlands/Shoalhaven and Western Sydney.

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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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