Smith Family seeks clarity over funding

THE Smith Family is calling on the federal government to clarify the future of the highly successful Partnership Brokers program.

CLEAR PATH: Tim Francis from Taste of Paradise Farm explains to Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis why he supports the Partnership Brokers program as Lynelle Johnson (Nowra partnership broker) and Craig Dadds (Partnership Brokers National Network executive officer) watch.

CLEAR PATH: Tim Francis from Taste of Paradise Farm explains to Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis why he supports the Partnership Brokers program as Lynelle Johnson (Nowra partnership broker) and Craig Dadds (Partnership Brokers National Network executive officer) watch.

The program aims to provide young people in the Shoalhaven with an employment pathway.

Program funding runs out at the end of the year and The Smith Family wants it renewed.

Evidence of the program’s success, via a presentation and display of posters, was there for all to see at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre on Monday.

Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis joined the program’s stakeholders at the centre.

The Smith Family’s Illawarra Partnership Brokers manager Ian Batty said there was a growing degree of uncertainty around the program.

“If we’re going to keep more young people, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds, in education or assist them into a job, then we need this program,” Mr Batty said.

“At the moment too many young people are either not completing year 12, or its equivalent, or not making a successful transition from school to employment and this is a particular issue in the Shoalhaven.

“Partnership Brokers has been instrumental in cutting through local red tape and bringing students, schools and businesses together to try to get on top of the problem at a local level and it’s working. 

“Partnership Brokers has been a great success in the Shoalhaven.”

One of the program’s initiatives is the Work Inspirations program run at Stockland Nowra, TAFE and other businesses.

Work Inspirations aims to address business skills shortages and creates connections between employers and students. 

The Wreck Bay Learning 4 Life partnership was another success that resulted in the community putting education at the centre of its priorities.

Last year in the Shoalhaven 374 businesses participated in broker led partnerships.

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