Melbourne City Mission, one of the State’s leading providers of disability, education, homelessness, justice and early years services, has applauded the 2018 State Budget’s focus on education and skills.
Chief Executive Officer Vicki Sutton said Melbourne City Mission works with diverse groups of individuals, families and communities across the State.
“The one constant is the aspiration to find and hold onto a job,” Ms Sutton said.
“We know that participation in early childhood education and school is a vital building block. Access to good careers advice, vocational training and higher education opportunities are also critical.
“The 2018/19 State Budget delivers the investment to make this a reality for all Victorians, including young people who – in the past – haven’t had the wellbeing and education support to stay at school or who have been excluded from vocational training due to financial and other barriers.”
Keeping young people in school
Melbourne City Mission particularly welcomes the Government’s additional funding to scale up the Navigator program, which builds partnerships between schools and community organisations to intensively support students who are at risk of dropping out of school.
“The expansion of the program across Victoria will have a significant positive impact on student participation and attainment,” Ms Sutton said.
She also applauded the continuing investment in free and low-cost kindergarten education for Victoria’s most vulnerable children – vital to ensuring a good transition to school.
Skills to deliver on the promise of the NDIS
“We are also thrilled by the State Government’s $172 million investment in making 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses free-of-charge in significant growth industries – including disability and family violence,” Ms Sutton said.
“As a major disability support provider, Melbourne City Mission knows that a skilled workforce is vital to delivering on the promise of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to people with a disability and their families. This initiative super-charges workforce development and sector capacity. It’s a terrific announcement for service providers and for people with a disability.”
Investment in mental health
The majority of people accessing Melbourne City Mission services have complex trauma and require access to mental health support.
The mental health package is comprehensive in scope, creating additional capacity in all parts of the service system. Melbourne City Mission particularly welcomes the investment in a Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) Service in Melbourne’s north west. This will be a valued resource for young people accessing our Frontyard Youth Services in the Melbourne CBD, many of whom come from the north-west and who need this model of flexible, short-stay support to address their mental health needs.”
Melbourne City Mission CEO Vicki Sutton is available for comment.
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