A report by RMIT University has found the Gillard Government’s Youth Connections program has a positive impact on young participants with their overall well being improving.
The report, Subjective Wellbeing of young people participating in the Youth Connections, shows the program is achieving one of its core aims: developing resilience and improving health and wellbeing for severely disadvantaged young people.
Data was drawn from surveys completed by participants on entering and completing the program and results are based on the “Personal Wellbeing Index” which measures areas such as health, relationships and perceptions of happiness.
Mr Garrett said the report shows the positive impact Youth Connections is having on young Australians who were at risk of dropping out of school or not successfully making the move from school to work.
“We now have concrete evidence which shows the benefits of young Australians being involved in this program including reductions in the proportion of young people who are likely to be depressed,” he said.
“For those who complete the Youth Connections program, the report shows a 50 per cent reduction in young people considered to be “high risk” on the Subjective Wellbeing index.
“We can now continue to build on the foundations of this program and help young people, who would previously have been at risk of dropping out of school, to get their life back on track.
“This research has made a further contribution, as it is the first study in the world to investigate the subjective wellbeing of a sample of Indigenous young people," Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett also announced the payment of a further $32 million in project funding under the National Partnership to help states and territories continue to develop and deliver their tailored initiatives in the reform areas – including mentoring; career development; and multiple learning pathways.
“Education is the most important tool in breaking the cycle of disadvantage,” Mr Garrett said.
“That’s why the Gillard Government is providing record funding for education and why we are investing $287 million in Youth Connections which, as shown in this report, is effective in stopping young people falling through the cracks.”
Youth Connections is a national program that works with young people aged 13 to 19 who are at risk of disengaging from education. The program gives young people flexible services including one-on-one support. The goal is to help young people overcome the barriers and problems that make it difficult to complete their education and progress to further training and work.
Since 2010, more than 46 000 young people from across Australia have received support through the program.
The RMIT University report tracks the ‘Subjective Wellbeing’ of more than 7700 Youth Connections participants from when they started and finished the program. ‘Subjective Wellbeing’ is how an individual perceives their own happiness and state of mind.
The report found:
· There is a significant increase (5.86 percentage points) in Subjective Wellbeing observed from when the young person entered to when they completed the program.
· After finishing the program, young people were less likely to be depressed or at a high-risk for depression, and there was a significant increase in overall happiness for both males and females
“I welcome the report and note that amid the good results there is always more that can be done and that’s why we are committed to the Youth Connections program,” Mr Garrett said.
“I congratulate all those involved in the Youth Connections program on the work they are doing for vulnerable young Australians and on the success reported by RMIT University.”
To view RMIT University’s report visit: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Youth/YouthAttainmentandTransitions/Pages/YouthC...
11 July 2012