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Extension of services under the Job Placement, Employment and Training (JPET) Programme.

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"Young people at risk will benefit from the extension of funding, to 136 current providers under the Job Placement, Employment and Training (JPET) Programme" the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp announced today.

Located in metropolitan, regional and rural sites in all States and Territories, these JPET providers will, subject to satisfactory performance, now continue to provide support and assistance to disadvantaged young people until 31 December 2002. The contracts for these services, previously rolled over to June 2002, have been extended for a further 6 months.

Dr Kemp was visiting the Salvation Army South East Services Network, a JPET provider in the electorate of Dunkley, which is contracted to provide JPET services to 135 young people each year and respond to the employment, education and training needs of homeless and disadvantaged young people. Dr Kemp said the centre’s work was valuable because the JPET project staff recognised the importance of community connection and involvement.

JPET is an early intervention programme that focuses on youth in transition. It provides assistance to young people who are aged between 15 and 21 years to overcome a range of personal difficulties that prevent them from taking advantage of opportunities to gain greater independence.

"The JPET Programme is unique because it provides a number of flexible, integrated services that meet the wide range of needs of at-risk youth. In particular, service providers are given the flexibility to develop their strategies to meet individual and local community needs. If current trends continue, JPET is likely to provide support to more than 15,000 young people in 2001-2002" said Dr Kemp

The programme will help to overcome problems in the areas of housing, family, income support, sexual or other abuse, drugs and alcohol and other barriers to employment, education and training. Importantly, the JPET services act as a link to other programmes and provide advocacy and advice on a wide range of issues. This announcement follows the Government’s 2001-02 Budget decision to provide an additional $16.8 million over four years to the JPET programme. This funding ensures JPET will continue to assist young people until 2005, with a direct programme commitment of $74.4 million over this period.

Dr Kemp highlighted some key results of the programme, noting outcomes of recent client surveys conducted three and six months after leaving the programme. These include:

access to safe accommodation for clients increased from 58% on entry to JPET to 80% on exit, and increased to 85% 6 months post-exit; ●

participation in education/training increased from 19% on entry to JPET to 44% on exit; ● employment levels also showed major improvement, from only 1% on entry to JPET increasing to 27% on exit and 29% 6 months post exit. ●

"The help JPET services provide makes a significant difference to the lives of many disadvantaged young Australians. The Government’s commitment to extend funding for this programme until December 2002 will allow this good work to continue", Dr Kemp noted.

Further information on the JPET Programme can be obtained by phoning the toll-free hotline on

1800 657 569.

Media Contact: Catherine Job (02) 6277 7460 or 0408 648 400