Thursday, June 20, 2024

Young offenders given chance to Try a Trade

Young people in custody are being given the opportunity to learn new skills to help them transition back into the community thanks to the Try a Trade program, being jointly run by Youth Justice NSW and Training Services NSW.

The young people at Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre in Kariong can try a range of trades including bricklaying, plastering, barbering, mechanics, carpentry, warehousing and plumbing.

“A key focus for Youth Justice is supporting young people to transition from custody back into the community,” said NSW Minister for Youth Justice, Jihad Dib.

“The Try a Trade days not only allow young people to sample a few trade options and learn some new skills, but they also help them build community connections and links that will still be there when they leave custody.

“This is a great initiative because it finds a way to upskill young people for their reintegration into community, and the success stories we have heard so far show it is working,” he said.

Local businesses such as Colonial Painting and Decorating Service at Gosford have volunteered to teach participants plastering and painting to build connections with a potential new workforce.

The first Try a Trade day was held at Cobham Youth Justice Centre with 10 workshops held across a range of trades including carpentry, painting, and landscaping.

A second session ran at the Riverina Youth Justice Centre, where five businesses across different trades visited the centre to teach a range of skills including plumbing, carpentry, painting, traffic control and mechanics. 

As a result of the previous Try a Trade days at Cobham and Riverina Youth Justice Centres, 10 young people have gained employment in their chosen pathway, two young people have commenced apprenticeships, and over 30 have identified a set trade as a career option when they hadn’t previously done so, said Minister for Skills, Steve Whan.

“Providing people training and a career is a critical part of setting people onto a more positive path in their lives,” said Mr Whan.

“Initiatives like Try a Trade provide a real opportunity to engage in life changing educational opportunities.”

Try a Trade days will be run across all six youth justice centres around the state throughout the remainder of 2023.

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