Single vision to champion cities’ youth

COMMITTED: Albury councillor Kevin Mack spoke passionately about creating jobs for youth through employer engagement. Picture: MARK JESSER

Establishing Albury-Wodonga as a single city focussed on reducing youth unemployment and increased engagement was the focus of a business breakfast on Tuesday.

A five-point jobs plan focussed on creating favourable employment conditions to facilitate, grow and mentor young people was tabled to 23 business owners and guests.

Facilitator Kevin Mack told a big crowd at the SS&A Club Border employers had the means, and responsibility, to do their bit to champion youth and make a profound difference in their lives.

Sarina Russo chief executive Kathleen Newcombe committed to creating a five-person scholarship to champion outstanding young people in the workforce.

“It’s not about talking about youth, it’s important we talk with youth, it’s about engaging and activating them,” she said.

“We (businesses) need to show young people that we care through support and development.”

Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship chief executive Matt Pfahlert said careers of the future were not necessarily catered for in the current job market.

The Beechworth-based Sir Weary Dunlop 1996 Young Australian of the Year discussed social enterprise successes which have been driven from a grassroots level.

He highlighted Myrrhee Primary School’s recent successful movie and fish and chip night, which tackled issues of social isolation and conservation.

Not content with solely organising the event, students raised enough money to repay a micro-loan from the school for equipment.

Discussing successful movements in Canada and Scotland, Mr Pfahlert said moving from grant to socially dependant ventures meant sustainable community businesses were possible in the region.

Source: The Border Mail, 18 May 2016


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