Illawarra youth workforce funds face axe

Illawarra-based organisations helping youth get into the workforce have been left in limbo as federal government funding comes to an end, with uncertainty over commitments to renew programs.

Access Community Group (ACG) administers the federally-funded Youth Connections program to help youth gain training, education or employment but funding will run out in December.

Illawarra youth struggle to find jobs

ACG chief executive Larissa Daniel said there had been no indication from the government the program would continue to be funded.

"We would be looking at having to cut many of our related services, which would be a huge loss to the community, especially young people," she said.

Data released last week showed about 93 per cent of young people who participated in the Youth Connections program nationally were still employed or engaged in education six months after leaving the service.

Funding for The Smith Family's Partnership Brokers program is also set to run out in December.

Partnership Brokers manager Ian Batty cited one example of how the service has helped youth find employment.

"A young Aboriginal boy who comes from a background of unemployed family members and who was disengaged from school is now on a pathway to employment," he said.

"As a result of a partnership he has commenced pre-apprenticeship training at TAFE Illawarra and has a part-time job."

Funding for a Better Futures, Local Solutions trial program in Shellharbour is also set to expire mid-next year.

Community organisations such as Lighthouse Community Care have used the grant to provide targeted training and employment for youth.

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