Youth employment toolkit wins national award
A youth employment program developed by Cessnock City Council has been named as one of the country’s best at this year’s National Economic Development Awards.
The Cessnock City Youth First Employment Project and National Toolkit took out the top prize in the Economic Development Strategic Thinking category, beating out finalists Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast.
The program was initiated after youth unemployment in Cessnock reached 21 per cent. Council used its own facilities in a pilot program which provided mentorship and practical training in hospitality, retail and tourism, with 80 per cent of the participants finding work after the 13-week program.
Late last year, the program’s toolkit was distributed to every council in Australia.
Council’s Advance Cessnock City business platform was a finalist in the Economic Development Initiatives over 15,000 residents category.
The platform offered an online engagement tool for local and prospective businesses.
“It’s an honour to be recognised for our achievements, and I believe these accomplishments are due to how we work strategically to support our business community,” Council’s Acting Economic Development Manager Rhiannon Stevens said.
“We are proud of where we live and hope to facilitate outcomes to support our businesses to grow.”