7 March 2016

The Australian Government’s Department of Employment today announced DISCO and Gateway To Training as the successful consortium to deliver transition to work services for young people across the Darling Downs and South West Queensland.

Transition to Work is part of the $331 million National Youth Employment Strategy, announced in the 2015-16 Budget.

Transition to Work will provide young job seekers with intensive one-on-one support from community-based organisations experienced in working with young people who face greater barriers to enter the workforce.

CEO of DISCO Mike Paton stated, “This is a fantastic win for regional businesses and young people as both DISCO and GTT recognise that the more we invest in preparing young people for the world of work, the more committed and successful they will become”.

The Toowoomba region which currently is experiencing a youth unemployment rate of 8.4% and the South West Qld region of 8.2% (Dept. of Employment Labour Force Region, Area Profile Data) will be the target for the consortium partners as they work hard to improve both the underemployment and unemployment rates of regional youth.

“Our approach is underpinned by a model that provides young people with the capacity to develop the knowledge and skills required to enter the workplace as well as work with employers to open up work opportunities for local youth”, said Executive Officer of Gateway To Training, Mrs Esme Cairns.

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the Government is determined to provide young Australians who face difficulties entering the workforce with the assistance they require to ensure they are work-ready and able to obtain gainful employment.

“Young people are the future of our country and we need to ensure we have effective programmes in place so that those at risk of long-term welfare dependency can find and keep a job,” Minister Cash said.

President of DISCO and local Toowoomba businessman Mr Neil Davy also stated “It’s time for us to work differently in relation to how young people link to businesses. Let’s stop talking about young people’s inability to work and focus on solid career preparation and employability skills. That’s what business and industry really needs.”

“We know our local communities and we understand the challenges they face. This collaboration with the Australian Government to trust local, respected, community based organisations like DISCO and GTT demonstrates the determination we all have to improve outcomes for young people and develop solid succession planning and future labour force requirements for businesses across the Darling Downs and South West Queensland” said President of Gateway To Training, Mrs Betsy Turner.

For more information on Transition to Work visit http://www.employment.gov.au/youth or call DISCO on 07 4638 3088 or Gateway To Training (Goondiwindi) on 07 4671 2258.

For comment or additional information:

Downs Industry Schools Co–Op (DISCO) CEO – Mike Paton – 0414 285 432

Gateway to Training (GTT) EO – Esme Cairns – 0427 030 581

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