The NSW Government is giving nearly $1 million for programs to help young people get their drivers licence, help university students transition into work and improve youth mental health.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy joined Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin in Albury on Wednesday to announce $986,444 for the region under the 'Our Region, Our Voice' Regional Youth Investment Program.
Junction Support Services has received $486,729 to help learner drivers aged 16 to 24 who don't have a supervising driver or car to gain the 120 hours of driving experience they need to apply for their probationary licence.
Chief executive Megan Hanley said transport was a significant gap for young people to gain meaningful employment and connect to others.
"We're in regional NSW, we don't have the transport options that metro cities do, so this is fantastic for young people," she said.
We're in regional NSW, we don't have the transport options that metro cities do, so this is fantastic for young people
Ms Hanley said a recent survey showed four per cent of young people in Albury didn't have access to a car or mentor driver.
"It's a top issue for people in Albury absolutely, because there is no learner driver program currently which offers this level of support," she said.
"We currently run what they call the L to P program in Victoria over in Wodonga and we've often had people in Albury who've wanted to access that program, but aren't able to because of eligibility and funding issues.
"That program will expand over into the Border and it's great to be able to identify one community."
The program aims to help at least 40 Albury young people and is seeking members of the community with their full licence to volunteer as mentors.
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La Trobe University received $331,966 for a program to help its students smoothly transition from studying to working.
Head of campus Dr Guinever Threlkeld said coming out of COVID had impacted student confidence and capacity to engage with others and the world.
"Then thinking how to apply learning from an academic program to the so-called real world, I think they're all challenges that research has shown us is significant for young people entering employment," she said.
The program will clarify the career aspirations and increase self awareness of 80 students in the lead up to a multidisciplinary, collaborative innovation sprint to solve a youth wellbeing issue.
"The final phase of the program will see students bring together all that learning from the program so far with their academic learning and apply that in a workplace placement with a local employer," Dr Threlkeld said.
"We have a lot of students who are first in their family who are quite unfamiliar with the whole process of coming to university and moving to professional employment beyond university, so I think we've got a great target group already."
Greater Hume Council have also received $167,749 to run a project to improve mental health awareness of people aged 12 to 24 years in Greater Hume and Lockhart shires.
The program will provide opportunities for the young people to develop strong relationships, adapt to change and deal with life's challenges.
Minister Franklin said nearly 2000 young people were consulted to determine the priorities for investment.
"This is an investment that has been shaped for youth, by youth," he said.
Mr Clancy said it was a significant investment in the region.
"I'm very pleased to see funding go to a number of worthy organisations," he said.
"This will help our local youth with the tools and resources they need to become the best version of themselves."
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