Cessnock City Council paves the way for Australia’s youth

Cessnock City Council officially launched the Youth First Program Toolkit today giving councils across Australia the tools to support young people to be job ready.

Cessnock City Council officially launched the Youth First Program Toolkit today giving councils across Australia the tools to support young people to be job ready.

The Cessnock City Youth First initiative was born following the Hunter Valley Youth Unemployment Symposium facilitated by Cessnock City Council that saw a region wide approach to tackling the critical issue of youth unemployment.

The ground-breaking pilot program saw local young people undertake a training program that upskilled them and saw them obtain relevant industry qualifications in retail and hospitality.

Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said he is extremely proud to share this toolkit with every council in Australia and hopes they will roll it out.

“It was fantastic to see the transformation of the young people who participated in our program. Giving these young people the opportunity to be mentored saw many of them secure work, some ahead of even finishing the program.”

“I encourage every council in Australia to read the toolkit that has been developed for use by local government and consider rolling it out in their existing council facilities, as we have an opportunity to reduce the alarming statistic of youth unemployment and can change the course of a young person’s life.”

The NSW Government’s Department of Industry’s Training Services and Office of Regional Development worked in partnership with Cessnock City Council to make the program a reality. Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said he strongly supports the Toolkit.

“There is nothing more important than helping students prepare for a very dynamic workforce.”

Yancoal Austar Coal Operations also proudly supported the program, Operations Manager Brian Wesley said this is an important issue for our community.

“We are very aware of how training and education can make a genuine positive difference to the lives of others.”​

If every Council was able to get 10 of their unemployed youths into work using the Youth First Program Toolkit, a minimum of 5,000 jobs could be filled nationally by our young people each year.