Today is International Youth Day (IYD), an annual celebration of the role of young people in driving change, while also raising awareness of youth issues and challenges.
Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck today recognised IYD 2019 and its theme Transforming education.
“In 2016 there were almost 3 million young people aged 14 to 24 in Australia—around 12.8 per cent of the population,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The theme for 2019 highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all young people.
“Education is a focus for this Government, and we are investing an additional $37 billion in schools over the next decade—tailoring funding to student’s needs.
“We are also focused on getting more young Australians into work, with more than 100,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 getting a job in 2017–18—the best ever result in a financial year.
“The Government’s new Skilling Australians Fund will also create more apprenticeships over the next four years.
“Mental health remains a priority, with approximately 560,000 children and adolescents in Australia estimated to have mental health condition and one in four young Australians aged 16 to 24 experiencing mental ill health in any given year.
“The $503 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is the largest suicide prevention strategy in Australia’s history and has a particular focus on Indigenous suicide prevention and mental health support for children and their families, including strengthening the headspace network by expanding from 110 to 145 centres nationwide by 2021.
“The Government has also committed up to $117 million for Reconnect services over five years”. Reconnect is a community-based early intervention and prevention program for young people aged 12 to 18 years (or young people aged 12 to 21 for new arrivals) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their families.
“Australia’s future is bright with the calibre of young people in our ranks, but we need to ensure this significant part of population is supported to address their challenges and educated to reach their potential.”