NSW Election Watch: Nationals announce a regional youth policy

CCA is monitoring relevant announcements by all political parties in New South Wales In the run-up to the election on 23 March 2019.

Earlier this week – as part of their campaign policy launch – the NSW Nationals announced a series of new initiatives, including a regional youth strategy to:

  • Appoint a Minister for Regional Youth.
  • Establish the Regional Youth Taskforce, a mixture of grassroots community leaders and youth specialists to provide grassroots advice to the new Minister.
  • Establish the Office of Regional Youth within the Department of Premier & Cabinet.
  • Commit at least $50 million, that’s 50 per cent of the next round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, to projects that support young people. This could be supporting local youth centres, PCYCs, sporting clubs or community colleges.
  • Deliver NSW’s first Regional Youth Strategy, to ensure regional youth services support local solutions.

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) comment

CCA is pleased to see the inclusion of “community colleges” as priority eligible recipients in the “Stronger Country Communities Fund”. CCA has undertaken comprehensive research into the activities and capabilities of NSW community education providers in regional and rural NSW. NSW community education providers heavily over-perform in reaching regional and rural learners in delivering government-funded VET: in 2017, 63.8% of community education students were located in regional and rural areas (70.9% in 2016), well exceeding 36.6% TAFE of TAFE students and 32.6% of private for-profit provider students.

Two-thirds of accredited ACE Community Service Obligation (“CSO”) providers are headquartered outside of metropolitan Sydney.

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