YMCA is thrilled the Victorian Government has announced funding for programs to support young ex-offenders find employment.
At the YMCA Bridge Project Breakfast on Friday 11 August 2017, Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan announced $1.5 million for the YMCA Bridge Project to place a further 1,500 young people into sustainable work and to help reduce the cycle of crime.
The announcement was made in front of over 300 attendees across business, government and community organisations that support this life-changing program.
The funding will go towards the YMCA-led initiative, The Bridge Employment Support and Training program (BEST), which gives young ex-offenders the second chance they need through support, training and mentoring to find work.
The BEST program was previously run by the Department of Justice and Regulation and is now part of the highly-successful Jobs Victoria initiative. This closer tie with Jobs Victoria will create more employment opportunities across all backgrounds, including Aboriginal communities, refugees and other culturally diverse jobseekers.
Minister Noonan said, “The YMCA Bridge Project is an inspiring organisation. We are proud to make them part of the Jobs Victoria network to continue their amazing work.”
“We want to end the cycle of reoffending, and that starts with giving people purpose, and an opportunity to contribute to the workplace,” he said.
YMCA Bridge Project Manager Mick Cronin believes the funding will help those who need it most, “By giving people who have been involved in the criminal justice system the support, training and mentoring they need, we’re helping them get their lives back on track.”
Since 2006, the YMCA Bridge Project has helped more than 440 young people find work, while more than 100 Victorian businesses have provided support and jobs to the program.
More than 1,550 young jobseekers have been placed into work over the past 10 months through Jobs Victoria.
To find out more about YMCA Bridge Project visit bridgeproject.ymca.org.au