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Youth Projects bags Innovation Award

Charity recognised for their innovative work.

Youth Projects has been presented with the Steve Lawrence Innovation Award at The CoAct National Conference in Brisbane. In addition, the organisation was awarded with three further outstanding achievement awards for contributions to changing the lives of underprivileged youths and Melbourne’s homeless.

The non-profit organisation, has within the last 12 months, helped over 252 young people into their first secure job and/or engaged them back into skills training and studies. Among this group of young people, only 1% had finished year 12, 20% were already homeless and 50% had mental health illnesses. One hundred percent of these teens have remained employed. This achievement has been highly recognised within an area that has among the highest rates of youth jobless in the country.

Melanie Raymond, Chair of Youth Projects said, “Despite a hostile job market for unemployed youth, we must not give up on unemployed youth because a job is life changing for them.”

The Steve Lawrence Innovation Award is named in memory of the founding father of Job Futures, now known as CoAct. This annual award recognises a CoAct member organisation that has developed an innovative approach to improving employment opportunities, social inclusion and/or community strength that have resulted in building infrastructure or social improvement.

The outstanding performance awards cover achievements in transition to work for at risk youths in areas of high youth jobless rates, mainly in Sunbury, Craigieburn and Glenroy.

Raymond said, “The biggest risk to young people today is being locked into long term unemployment and poverty. This raises the likelihood that they will never reach their potential, and remain in a cycle of insecure, poorly paid work. We continue to help young people build the core employability skills employers are looking for, that are lifelong and transferable.”

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