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Opening up educational and employment pathways for vulnerable young people

May 16, 2017

Geelong is considered one of the top 20 regions with the highest youth unemployment in Australia. Research confirms that there is a high correlation between unemployment and disadvantage for young people. Thanks to your generous donations, Whitelion is attempting to break this cycle of disadvantage for young people.

A $30,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation has helped Whitelion establish the Barwon Employment and Vocational Pathways program, providing disadvantaged young people aged between 15-24 living in the Barwon region access to educational or employment pathways.

Since commending in 2016, Whitelion has been able to positively engage with ‘at risk’ young people in the region. As part of the Barwon Employment and Vocational Pathways program Whitelion uses prevention programs, intensive support services and street outreach services to reach these young people and to connect them into education and employment pathways.

A number of enrolments in training for RSA and White Cards has been facilitated, helping to open doors for these young people into entry level employment, full time employment and Traineeships. Part of the program is ensuring that the young person and Whitelion remain in contact post-placement and for one participant this has been integral. Jodie* was successful in securing a traineeship in Melbourne. However, in time she felt that she needed to resign from the position. Whitelion continued to provide support throughout this process, matching Jodie to a new position where she has now been able to undertake some paid work experience.  This provides Jodie with the chance to keep earning an income and continue to build her skills and confidence whilst Whitelion continues to seek more sustainable employment opportunities for her.

*Not her real name