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Inaugurated a Marist Youth Care’s Skills Development Centre in Blacktown

26/06/2013: Australia

Marist Youth Care’s Skills Development Centre, in Blacktown, Australia rolled up the doors and was officially launched on Friday 14 June by Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education.

The Skills Development Centers provides at-risk young people in the community, many of whom have left school early, with practical vocational skills training and placement into ongoing and sustainable employment in areas where real vacancies exist.

The SDC uniquely assists early school leavers, often lost in between school and employment, by providing choices and pathways to return to school, alternative education or employment.

Through a variety of training programs connected to local employment, Marist Youth Care aims to place more than 100 at risk young people into local jobs each year.

In just 10 months, the SDC has provided accredited pre-employment training to 76 disadvantaged and unemployed young people.

Marist Youth Care plans to open further Skills Development Centers in areas of need throughout Australia. A 2nd Skills Development Centre was opened in Brunswick, Melbourne in 2012.

The Blacktown SDC, located adjacent to Blacktown’s rail and bus stations, addresses the area’s critical levels of early school leavers, youth unemployment and homelessness.

Almost 55,000 young people aged 12-25 years live in Blacktown. Youth aged 12-17 make up 9.3% of the population, higher than the national 7.9% figure.

Blacktown has the largest urban Aboriginal population in NSW with indigenous youth aged 12-17 making up 4.44% of the total population in this age category compared to the national proportion of 3.2%.

Blacktown LGA has a significantly high youth unemployment rate – 19.4% of 15-19 year olds – far exceeding the national unemployment rate of 10.2% for this age group.


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