Forwards, upwards and on the right track
TAFE Queensland assists at-risk youth Transition to Success
One of the key programs delivered by Youth Justice in Queensland is ‘Transition to Success’ (T2S) – a trauma-informed education and training program for young people in the youth justice system.
The program partners with a wide range of business, government and non-government organisations in local communities to help young people develop positive behaviours and life skills, while enabling them to complete nationally recognised certificates and qualifications.
This work includes a partnership with TAFE Queensland in numerous locations.
Together, staff identify participant needs and provide related skills, training and qualifications to help young people in the youth justice system move into employment or further study, and away from law-breaking, anti-social behaviour.
To date, through this partnership between TAFE Queensland and Youth Justice, 44 young people have progressed into employment, including apprenticeships and traineeships.
Young people in the youth justice system – aged 15 years and older – are the immediate customers of the program.
The Queensland Government, as part of its Youth Justice Strategy, funded the program ‘Transition to Success’ (T2S), which included $1.2 million for a partnership with TAFE Queensland. The fund was established to support young people in the youth justice system to access identified vocational training opportunities.
Youth Justice officers in different regions work with TAFE Queensland to identify local employment trends and opportunities, while working with potential participants to identify areas of interest.
Put simply: the approach sees a training need or vocational interest identified, and then met by TAFE Queensland.
TAFE Queensland specifically tailored training to the identified needs of the Youth Justice cohort: to strengthen participants’ literacy and numeracy skills, while also offering the opportunity to experience a range of industry certificate ‘taste-testers,’ and visits to potential employer sites.
These opportunities open doors for participants, who often have significant gaps in their learning due to early disengagement with education, and who need more understanding and exposure to potential career pathways.
Certificates provided include:
● Certificate I in Foundational Skills for Vocational Pathways
● Certificate II in Foundational Skills for Vocational Pathways
● Certificate I in Construction
● Certificate I in Film and Sound
● Certificate II in Automotive
● Certificate II in Horticulture
● Certificate II in Manufacturing and Technology
● Certificate II in Sport Coaching.
TAFE Queensland and T2S have also partnered to deliver ‘Skills Passport Programs’, which build young people’s readiness to engage in certificate courses through practical skill development and exposure to industry experiences.
Skills Passport Programs support young people with opportunities to attain their First Aid Certificates and White Cards, while also gaining exposure to a range of different industries including Carpentry, Painting, Construction, Welding, Automotive, Warehousing, Horticulture, Barbering, Beauty and Baking.
"The evidence shows that supporting young people to access education and employment pathways reduces offending and improves community safety. This program is doing exactly that. The connection with TAFE helps them prepare for the workplace, ensuring they learn everything from practical skills through to important attributes such as punctuality, communication and teamwork." - Brett O'Malley, Director of Statewide Services, Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training
This partnership has delivered many and varied positive outcomes for young people at risk of offending behaviour.
Since January 2020, the T2S and TAFE Queensland partnership has produced:
● 29 programs across the state
● 156 full program completions
● 136 individual young people completing a program
● 44 young people gaining employment or traineeships/apprenticeships.
One of these young people is a young man from Cairns, who after three years of offending and time in custody, engaged in T2S.
He participated in the ‘Skills Passport’ model of the T2S TAFE Queensland partnership, which saw him take up a range of readiness-building activities, including achieving a Construction White Card.
This qualification and further work readiness activities motivated him to engage in work experience, which saw him subsequently obtain a plastering apprenticeship.
Overall, since T2S began, 1,913 young people have enrolled, resulting in 1,085 program completions to 30 June 2023. Of those, 277 have transitioned into employment, an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Results show 50 per cent of young people who completed a T2S course in the year to 30 June 2022 did not reoffend in the following year.