Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Helping Australia’s youth keep on track

┬áThe Coalition Government’s JPET Program (Job Placement, Employment and Training) is helping young people to avoid homelessness and welfare dependency, according to an evaluation report released today by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony.

“Some young people can face difficult transitions into early adulthood and the JPET program is proving to be a highly effective way of helping them to overcome barriers to participation in economic and community life.

“A new evaluation shows that JPET is addressing many of the issues faced by young people aged between 15 and 21, including access to housing, education, training and employment.”

Mr Anthony said that young Australians were clearly benefiting from the JPET program.

  • 85 per cent of participants had access to safe accommodation six months after exiting a JPET service, compared to 58 per cent of participants who had safe accommodation when entering a service.
  • 43 per cent of young people were in education or training six months after seeking help through a JPET service, compared to 20 per cent who were in education when initially seeking assistance.
  • 27 per cent were in employment on exit from the program, a major improvement on the 1 per cent in employment when commencing with JPET.

“Abbie is one example of JPET’s success on the ground. Abbie has been a client of the JPET service for about two years. Both Abbie’s parents are schizophrenic. She dropped out of school at 15 and developed a drug habit. With the help of JPET, she is now in TAFE and studying youth work. She has her own car and lives on her aunt’s property.
“By providing young people like Abbie with support, advocacy, counselling, and basic life skills as well as education, training and work opportunities, we give them the opportunity to stabilise their lives and make positive changes.

“The Coalition Government has invested more than $74 million over the four years to 2005 for the JPET program. There are 136 JPET providers to help around 14,000 young people this financial year, particularly those at risk of becoming homeless, ex-offenders and wards of the state.

“We are committed to pursuing early intervention and prevention strategies, because all the research suggests that this is a wise and valuable investment in the future prospects of disadvantaged young Australians,” Mr Anthony.