Townsville youth transition to a brighter future

Published Thursday, 29 August, 2019 at 04:43 PM

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

A group of young offenders and at-risk youth in Townsville are the latest to complete a Queensland Government program proven to successfully reduce reoffending.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said 11 young people in Transition to Success (T2S) graduated today, representing the seventh group to go through the initiative in Townsville.

“Through T2S, ten of these young graduates have completed a Cert II in Outdoor Power Equipment Technology at TAFE, which is a fantastic achievement,” he said.

“They are also are being given all the practical assistance they need to get back to school, into further education or into jobs.

“This is all about breaking the cycle of youth crime and improving the life prospects of these young people — it’s these sorts of outcomes that will ultimately make the community a safer place.”

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said a statewide evaluation in 2018 of T2S found more than two-thirds of graduates did not offend within 12 months.

“In Townsville, 63 young people have graduated from the program since mid-2016, gaining certificates in areas such as horticulture, engineering pathways and construction,” she said.

“These young people are not only learning vocational skills, but also other practical skills you need in any workplace like punctuality, communication and teamwork.

“Step by step, we’re building a stronger foundation for them to get back into school, further training, or a job.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said that where needed, young people are also connected to support services in response to trauma and other complex issues, which impact on their capacity to stay in a mainstream school.

“This includes services that help young people in unstable accommodation to find suitable housing, and those that tackle drug and alcohol misuse,” he said.

“T2S is a home-grown program that’s been shown to work, which is why I’m delighted to that even more young people are celebrating their graduation today.”

To further their skills, some graduates have also been doing work experience with local mower mechanics.

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said many of the young people participating in T2S had experienced social disadvantage, exposure to domestic violence, drug abuse and unstable parenting as well as intergenerational unemployment.

“These young people weren’t born bad. Some of them have experienced significant barriers to success in their lives, and although the community expects young offenders to be accountable the community also doesn’t want to see these young people reoffending,” she said.

“T2S helps break that cycle by giving participants opportunities to succeed and the support they need to achieve, which in turn gives them the skills and confidence they need to help them find secure long-term employment.”

T2S currently operates in 13 locations, including Townsville, and was recently rolled out to Mt Isa and the Gold Coast.


Media Contact: Cat Milton 0447 117 132