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D E E T Y A Media Release

JOBS BOOST FOR STUDENTS

K66/96 18 December 1996

A new pilot scheme to encourage students to stay on at school and secure employment had the potential to significantly lift retention rates and reduce many youth problems, including unemployment, the Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training, Dr David Kemp, said today.

Dr Kemp presented certificates to the first graduates of the innovative Options for Work and Education (OWE) program in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

For 10 weeks between October and December, this year, four Year 10 students from Gladstone Park Secondary College participated in the program. Each week for the first seven weeks, the students spent three days at school, one day at Kangan Institute of TAPE in Broadmeadows and one day in paid work for McDonald’s. They spent the last three weeks working at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s sponsored the program, which aims to give students at risk of dropping out of school a range of education, training and employment options. It also aims to increase their self esteem.

The program complements the Federal Government’s training reforms, which allow students to combine their secondary school certificate with industry-based training and paid employment. The first school-based traineeship under the new national apprenticeship system was launched in October, this year, in Victoria.

Dr Kemp said the program was an outstanding example of schools, businesses and the community working together to meet the needs of all students.

"As a nation, we must offer all our young people a more optimistic future." Dr Kemp said. "We can no longer afford to waste the talents and energies of our young people. We cannot accept high levels of youth unemployment that lead young people into the cycle of boredom, frustration and despair.

"We must show, as the OWE program does, that we believe in each and every young person; that each of them has talents that can lead to a career and contribute to Australian society."

Dr Kemp said Australia’s new national apprenticeship system would help fill a vacuum of options for the 65% of students who do not go on to full-time tertiary study. "The job and training void for many students is being filled with a range of exciting options," Dr Kemp said.

"The new national apprenticeship system will provide thousands of students and school leavers with accredited training and work experience that will lead to real jobs."

Media inquiries: Michael Smith (03) 9650 0355 or 016 287 494.

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