YConnect already making a difference

CVGT Australia’s new youth employment program YConnect may only be a few weeks old, but it is already starting to change the lives of young people in Victoria for the better.

The program, supported by Jobs Victoria, helps people aged between 15 and 24 across the Melbourne and Bendigo regions receive the skills and support they need to get their career started.

YConnect logo

A new campaign is being launched featuring some of our very own YConnect Youth Employment Mentors offering their own words of advice and inspiration.

This fun and bright video highlights the qualities that are important to our work in YConnect – support, empathy and hope for the future.

The video is the foundation of the campaign, which will feature on our website and across various social media.

YConnect Operations Manager Stephen Harvy says despite the challenges posed by lockdown in Victoria over recent weeks, interest in YConnect from employers is strong and more than 50 young people are already signed up to the program.

“At a time when connection is ever so critical to health and wellbeing – with lockdown compounding pre-existing barriers to employment – this connection and support will benefit those 50 young people and speaks to the essence of our YConnect program,” Stephen says.

“Each young person has had an initial, COVID-safe assessment with an assigned Mentor, and an individual pathway plan established to address the vocational and non-vocational support required to steer them towards job readiness and sustainable employment.

“This will also benefit us in fine-tuning our service delivery model as we scale up and grow in the coming weeks to serve many more young people in need, and inform broader CVGT Australia endeavours in the youth space.

“We have engaged numerous industries across Victoria, such as retail, construction and transport, to identify vacancies and to present candidates when ready.”

“And there are businesses across several more industries hiring right now, so we’d encourage young people to contact us to discuss the options available.

CVGT is also developing links with several partner agencies, including the Frankston City Council, Melbourne City Mission and the Australian Community Support Organisation, to open up opportunities for young people and give them the support they need.

As for the YConnect team itself, Stephen says he is already impressed with its ability to “find a way” to help young people despite lockdown.

“The YConnect team members represent quite a diverse group in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, which is a tremendous asset and enabler for us to be able to connect with and relate to young people joining the program,” he says.

“Qualifications vary across business disciplines, youth work, social work, community service and blend with some deep, lived experience to ensure young people on our program can access and secure high-quality mentoring.

“The stand-out qualities of our team include their ability to communicate, to engage with young people, build rapport, listen and develop positive pathways to sustainable employment.

“The video just highlights what a great group of Mentors we have.”

You can learn more about YConnect here: cvgt.com.au/yconnect

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