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I would like thank you for the invitation to launch the 1997/1998 Jobs Pathway Program project for Bundaberg Area Community Apprenticeship and Training Scheme. I am very pleased to be here.
It is very fitting that Bundaberg Area Community Apprenticeship and Training Scheme is again delivering the Jobs Pathway Program in 1998, given the remarkable success they achieved in 1996/97. Bundaberg Area Community Apprenticeship and Training Scheme achieved 146 per cent of their job placement targets in 1996/97. I would like to congratulate Bundaberg Area Community Apprenticeship and Training Scheme for their efforts.
It is hoped that continuing funding under the Jobs Pathway Program will assist them to foster even stronger links at a community level between schools, industry and young people to better prepare and provide practical support for students making the transition to work.
The Jobs Pathway Program is a Federal Government program aimed at building on local initiatives that prepare and assist students who are leaving school. The Commonwealth is funding 68 projects that will provide assistance to 18,911 young people at 1,120 secondary schools across the country. Up to 9,346 young school leavers will be found jobs and a further 9,564 young people at risk of leaving school early will be encouraged to remain at school.
The Program builds on the work being done in the area of vocational education and training in schools by contracting brokers to facilitate school students' transition to work.
The Federal Government believes vocational education and training has a crucial role to play in helping develop Australia as a society able to adapt flexibly and dynamically to the challenges of a highly competitive global economy.
As a fundamental principle of vocational education and training in schools this government is committed to developing and strengthening ongoing partnerships between the schools, employers and the community at the regional level.
It is of immense concern to this Government that so many young people are leaving our schools