$710,000 TO HELP BACKTRACK TACKLE REGION’S YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

$710,000 TO HELP BACKTRACK TACKLE REGION’S YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Celebrating the funding windfall at BackTrack Armidale today, student Jack Ackling, Backtrack Founder Bernie Shakeshaft, Jake Howarth, Alex Gosper, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Liam Roberts, Chris McCormack and Backtrack teacher Ike Roberts.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today announced the Armidale organisation BackTrack had triumphed in a challenge to deliver State Government-supported programs to help young people into work in the New England North West.

Mr Marshall said BackTrack was among 12 successful bidders for the State Government’s $10 million state-wide Youth Employment Innovation Challenge and would receive $710,000 to support its work in the region.

“BackTrack is a great not-for-profit organisation that works with young people who are having a hard time to develop work skills that can land them a permanent job,” Mr Marshall said.

“The Youth Employment Innovation Challenge is a unique government initiative that seeks placed-based approaches to finding solutions to youth unemployment.

“The government reached out to communities including the New England North West to understand their problems. We then threw out a challenge for them to come up with fresh local solutions to get young people into work.”

Mr Marshall said that with State Government support, BackTrack would operate welfare, education and skill development programs and assisted employment opportunities for young people.

“It manages supported work contracts in the primary industries, as well as general construction, asset maintenance and metal fabrication industries,” Mr Marshall said.

“BackTrack will provide all round assistance to help disengaged youth transition into work through a staged process of skill development and supporting them into jobs.

“By providing wrap-around support at every stage, BackTrack will achieve positive outcomes for both young people and employers.”

BackTrack Business Development Manager Marcus Watson said the program was already achieving results through the Youth Employment Innovation Challenge with a number of young people assisted into contract work on local farms.

“We are getting young people into paid contract work with farmers to train them to a point where they can seek independent employment opportunities,” Mr Watson said.

“The Youth Employment Innovation Challenge is allowing us to scale up our programs and provide more training and employment opportunities for young people who are having a hard time.

“With high youth unemployment we need to implement a different approach to solve the problem, and this initiative will enable BackTrack to scale up its unique service delivery across the region.”

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