Media Release by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Coalition Government provides extra funding to help Illawarra’s unemployed youth

Joint Media Release with:

  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis

Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison, Parliamentary Secretary, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis today announced the Abbott Government is investing $200,000 to assist young people who are long-term unemployed in the Illawarra region gain employment, through a successful local programme.

“We are committed to helping young people realise their potential, and this funding to the Hope Centre will ensure an extra 50 young people can complete the True Steel course and potentially enter the workforce or further study over the next two years,” Minister Morrison said.

“The best form of welfare is a job and this programme is a great example of helping people break the cycle of welfare dependence.

True Steel is an innovative eight-week programme run by the Hope Centre addressing the complex needs of long-term unemployed local youth with tailored skills training tied to individual job placements, including soft skills training.

“We have been advised that during the first year of the programme, 17 of True Steel’s 20 graduates are moving into employment, and three graduates are pursuing further education,” Minister Morrison said.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells welcomed the achievements of the graduates and the programme for the Illawarra region, where youth unemployment is significantly higher than the national average.

“Boosting employment in the area is needed to ensure our community can thrive and survive,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“This programme also demonstrates how effective community business partnerships can help to overcome disadvantage, as True Steel has forged successful partnerships with retailers, the hospitality industry and clubs in the Illawarra region,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

Ms Sudmalis said: “True Steel is a true reflection of the determination in our local community to build the confidence and skills of our young job-seekers so they can reach their potential.”

Today’s funding announcement follows Minister Morrison’s opening of the Hope Centre jobs training suite in April this year. The Abbott Government invested $40,000 to help establish the jobs training suite and $70,000 to establish True Steel as a pilot programme.