Wyndham council has welcomed $1 million state government funding to help young people find employment and boost social cohesion.
Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll announced the funding at the Youth Resource Centre in Hoppers Crossing on Monday.
Wyndham mayor Peter Maynard said the money would be provided across three years as part of the Werribee and Tarneit Community Revitalisation Project.
Cr Maynard said the council had developed the program in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
“This project aims to improve economic and social cohesion for young people and their families in Wyndham who are experiencing disadvantage,” Cr Maynard said.
“Partnerships and collaboration between council, local agencies, organisations, employers and the state government will be further strengthened by this initiative.
“The project has a goal of placing 200 young people in sustainable employment and 50 young people in entrepreneurship programs to help them start up new businesses.”
Cr Maynard said the funding would also be used to support and develop projects such as the Fresh Start Youth Employment program, which works to provide employment pathways for young people from South Sudanese, Pasifika and other disadvantaged groups.
He said the project would be overseen by the Wyndham Youth Senior Alliance, a community-led group.
“Council welcomes the announcement and commitment of the state government in providing financial support to assist employment options for Wyndham’s young residents,” he said.
“Young people in Wyndham need access to education and employment opportunities to prosper both economically and socially.”
According to a Brotherhood of St Laurence report released in March, Melbourne’s west – including Wyndham, Melton, Brimbank and Maribyrnong – has a youth unemployment rate of 18.7 per cent among residents aged 15 to 24.
This was the highest youth unemployment rate in the state, with Melbourne’s north-west – which includes Sunbury, Broadmeadows and Craigieburn – recording a 17.5 per cent unemployment rate.