A landmark program addressing youth unemployment in the Cessnock region may be used as a model to roll out across Australia.
The Cessnock City Youth Employment Project provides young jobseekers the opportunity to undertake work placements at council facilities such as the Hunter Valley Visitor Centre.
The jointly-funded program worth more than $100,000 was secured by Cessnock City Council following the Youth Unemployment Symposium in November last year.
Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said youth unemployment in the Hunter region is a serious concern and this initiative presents a unique opportunity to combat the issue.
"This is about taking a holistic approach to break the cycle of young people out of work made possible by collaboration between council, NSW Government, business, the wider community and young people,” Cr Pynsent said.
The first group of five young people are learning skills in customer service, RSA, RCG, first aid, teamwork communications and work health and safety.
Participant William Boyd said it is a great opportunity to work at the visitor centre and learn from experienced staff.
“I have really enjoyed engaging with customers and look forward to learning more over the next month,” he said.
Yancoal has provided $10,000 for the project on top of funding from the NSW Government. PK’s on Pokolbin and Peterson Wines are also supporting the project.