Focus on the future: wins for young people in the State Budget 2018

May 1, 2018

The 2018/19 Victorian State Budget opens up significant opportunities in a range of areas that resonate with young people’s futures.

Strengthening multicultural young people’s opportunities will build a stronger and inclusive multicultural Victoria.

CMY’s CEO Carmel Guerra said today: “We’re pleased to see a $15 million whole of government investment to address youth offending. This much-needed support will ensure that communities and young people are part of the solution to the underlying causes of youth crime.”

“The State Budget also shows a real commitment to hearing and responding to the needs of young people. The strong focus on education, employment and training opportunities will ensure more young people will be able to realise their potential.”

A strong focus on education, employment and training including:

    • Employment inclusion initiative to connect and support young people from Aboriginal and migrant communities and women into jobs on Victoria’s major projects.
    • Employment support program for long-term unemployed young people and young people facing significant barriers.
    • Careers education to provide career assessment and guidance for students commencing with Year 9 students.
    • Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships in 100 secondary schools, involving an optional additional year of school to finish as a fully qualified apprentice or trainee.
    • English as an Additional Language program will be increased to assist students who don’t speak English at home and newly arrived students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
    • Student health and wellbeing funding enhanced to deliver additional mental health support for students, a suicide prevention pilot, and a positive behaviour program.
    • Expansion of the Navigator program to assist young people who are at risk of disengaging or already disengaged from school to keep them in education.
    • Free TAFE training for 30 priority courses, commencing 1 January 2019.  These courses will focus on skills to not only build infrastructure projects but also include responses to family violence, aged care or disability.
    • The Asylum Seeker VET program will continue to fund asylum seekers and refugees to access training.

Significant investment in youth disengagement and empowerment initiatives:

    • Recognising that many young people face disadvantage and have a range of diverse needs, $5.2 million will be invested in early intervention programs.
    • Establishment and operation of three Community Support Groups which use a community-led approach to engage young people and their families and respond to local issues associated with youth disengagement.
    • The Empower Youth Program will be expanded (a further $2 million over four years), providing more young people with pathways to employment, education and training.
    • A new residential facility for young people with mental illness will focus on early intervention and support ($11.9 million).

A further investment in Multicultural Affairs to boost opportunities for young people:

    • $8.6 million is allocated to implement the African Communities Action Plan to empower members of Victoria’s African Communities to address economic and social issues.
    • A further $1.7 million will support young people of CALD backgrounds at risk of offending. It will include youth-led projects to build the skills and capacity of young people to engage in positive change.
    • $14.1 million to counter all forms of violent extremism and safe guard the community.
    • $17.1 million to fix community infrastructure and build new facilities for culturally diverse communities.
    • $1.4 million to expand the Multicultural Festivals and Events program.
    • $300,000 to establish a new Multicultural Safety Ambassadors Program, which will recruit individuals in multicultural communities to promote safe workplace practices.
    • $500,000 for translation services for all major policy and program announcements.

CEO Carmel Guerra said: “We’re delighted to see significant investment and focus on Multicultural Affairs. The support being thrown behind young people and diverse communities will ensure that Victoria remains an economically and socially inclusive community into the future.”

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