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Strengthening youth engagement in Victoria

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Young Victorians will have more opportunities to have their say and participate in decision-making with the launch of the Andrews Labor Government’s new youth policy.

Young Victorians, youth sector representatives and service providers joined Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos at Parliament this week for the launch of the Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria.

Following consultation involving thousands of young Victorians, the policy will improve youth engagement with new opportunities for government and young people to work together on ideas and innovative solutions, including:

* a Youth Engagement Charter to guide government’s engagement with young people in policy and program design, and service delivery

* a youth summit bringing together over 100 young Victorians to identify and discuss issues that are important to them

* a youth congress of young Victorians, elected through the youth summit, to provide advice to government on emerging and priority issues for young people, with a cabinet minister attending key meetings

* an annual youth survey, to develop a robust evidence base to understand and address issues that are important to young Victorians

A framework will be developed with young people to evaluate success and a governance structure will oversee the implementation of the policy and report progress back to government.

Mikakos also announced funding almost $4 million for a new program that provides tailored support for vulnerable young people in Victoria.

It will enable organisations and local government to engage youth workers to work with at-risk young people to support their health and well-being, engagement in education and training, community involvement and employment opportunities.

The program will target areas experiencing high socio-economic disadvantage, including areas of high-unemployment, increased youth offending, low educational engagement and poor health or mental wellbeing indicators. (TIW)

For more information on the youth policy and to register your interest in taking part in future events and initiatives, go to www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au

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