STRONGER TOGETHER: Skilling our youth for success

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Last updated: 17/07/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses skilling our youth for success and breaking the cycle of generational welfare dependence.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

As we approach World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, I find myself reflecting on how we can support the young people in our community to break the cycle of generational welfare dependence. This year's theme, "Skilling teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future” highlights the essential role that educators play in providing skills for youth to successfully transition into the workforce and actively engage in their community.

In the current social climate, it’s more important than ever that we equip our young people with the tools they need to thrive in the workforce. I’m proud that IMPACT Community Services has a wealth of experience in supporting the young people in our communities to gain the skills they need to find and keep work, and to improve their life skills along the way.

Preparing our young people for the workforce is critical, particularly now with current modelling predicting that Queensland will need an additional 280,000 workers by 2024-2025. Equipping our young people for this surge in jobs will require some planning and understanding of workforce skills required, with a predicted 38% of workers requiring a vocational and education training qualification to meet the workforce needs. It is therefore imperative that families and educators are having conversations with young people now, to better understand their interests to ensure that we are adequately preparing them for the opportunities that lie ahead.

However, it’s not enough to enrol young people in training. To truly break the generational welfare cycle, we must raise awareness among our youth about the advantages of employment compared to relying on welfare. By instilling this understanding early on, we can empower them to make informed choices that lead to a brighter future, for them and their future family.

Employment offers more than just financial stability; it fosters a sense of purpose, personal growth, and self-reliance. Through employment, young people can gain valuable experience, develop crucial skills, expand their networks, build confidence and learn responsibility and discipline in addition to achieving financial independence. Employment also cultivates a sense of pride and accomplishment that cannot be replicated by welfare dependency.

To support our youth effectively, it’s essential that school, parents, and the broader community work together. We must create an environment where young people are encouraged to pursue education, training, and apprenticeships. By forging partnerships with local businesses, we can facilitate work experience opportunities, internships, and mentorship programs, further enhancing the independence, practical skills and knowledge of our youth.

This World Youth Skills Day, let’s consider how we can work together to support our youth in breaking the cycle of generational welfare dependence, and the role we all play in empowering them to build a transformative future both for themselves and our community.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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