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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 707

Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (16:10): I rise today to congratulate Schools Industry Partnership and Penrith council for their great work. On Wednesday of last week we held a school-to-work forum. In attendance were key businesses from around our community and key employer groups, the University of Western Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains health board all working on how we can find better jobs for the young people of Western Sydney. It was great to see in attendance a lot of local schools, including Glenmore Park high, Colyton high and Caroline Chisholm, all working to see how we can work for youth employment in the area. Our objectives were to establish how young school leavers are going to be ready for the workforce, assist them in this transition and provide potential links between business and schools. We heard about a wide range of initiatives that will help young people, from Panthers on the Prowl to Humanise the Next Generation program, Ropes Crossing Skilling and Employment and Job Services Australia. Businesses and schools in our community are absolutely keen to work together to ensure that there is a very strong sense of local community and goodwill. The trick is to make it easier for schools and business to connect in effective ways.