Indigenous students across Queensland will soon have access to ‘YEP’ – a comprehensive range of resources for completing Year 12.

Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt launched the program today saying it would provide invaluable career, life and educational advice to the students.

“Choosing a career is hard and can be daunting for school leavers for a variety of reasons,” Mr Pitt said.

“To help our indigenous school leavers make a decision that’s right for them, we want to tailor services to individual needs in addition to our existing support networks.

“That means providing support to find a job and start a meaningful career, linking them with culturally capable organisations, giving them pre-employment training and support for any life challenges that may be making it hard to find a job.

“Critically, this is about preventing school leavers from slipping into unemployment and welfare which can be an uphill battle to escape.

“My department will be trained in this new approach to youth engagement and we’ll be setting up a database of year 12 job seekers to help them find careers.

“I’m thrilled to be launching this program as part of National Reconciliation Week and believe it will help our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are planning the next chapter of their lives.

“The Youth Employment Program or ‘YEP’, will be a lifeline for Queensland’s 2,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander year 12 students who are looking for assistance and guidance in taking that next step after high school.

“Schools such as Bentley Park College are leading the way with their Indigenous Leaders for the Future program which fosters excellence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school leavers.

“The Queensland Government wants to give all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a chance to acquire the education and skills they need to compete equally for jobs in the mainstream workforce.

“We can all bring together our efforts, key strategies, programs and initiatives and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and adults in Queensland.”