NELLEN job network in cash fight

Cain mcDonald. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Cain mcDonald. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A BORDER group committed to better learning outcomes for young people has joined a Victoria-wide push for guaranteed funding.

The North East Local Learning and Employment Network (NELLEN) wants the state government to take steps to ensure their programs for the future.

NELLEN chairman Cain McDonald said the 31 networks across the state needed $13 million, annually indexed, “so we can continue this vital work”.

“For every $1 invested by the state government an additional $2 is leveraged by (networks) in the community,” he said.

Councils throughout Victoria recently voted for the Municipal Association of Victoria to call on Premier Denis Napthine to commit “sufficient funding”.

Wodonga Mayor Rod Wangman said the networks provided transition and employment options for young people.

“No other organisations are as uniquely positioned to undertake this work,” he said.

“NELLEN is an established organisation and long-term achiever in supporting young people in this region.

“It provides a critical link between the broader community and young people.

“And that is vital to assisting overall improvements of economic growth for the region and tackling the increasing youth unemployment rate.”

The North East network has been involved in a range of programs over the years.

They include forums aimed at giving students the information they need to better prepare for the workforce.

According to the North East group’s website, the networks in general “have a core focus on improving participation, engagement, attainment and transition outcomes for young people aged 10 to 19 years”.

The North East group said yesterday this work was fundamental in ensuring young people in regional and rural Victoria “are not left behind”.

It said this was achieved through helping young people build strong links with educational providers and local employers.