The Southern Tasmania Area Taskforce

‘Improving Learning and Employment Futures’

Overview

The Southern Area Taskforce is established to improve the opportunities for young people moving from full time schooling to further training, education, and on to employment.

The Taskforce will look at transition barriers that now exist for young people across the region, then carefully and strategically analyse the issues before formulating solutions about how they can be best overcome.

The Taskforce will adopt an inclusive approach by involving a wide range of stakeholders to achieve sustainable outcomes.


The Challenge

It is recognised by all those involved with the project that it will be a challenge to improve young people’s participation in education, training and employment transitions.

If it were easy it would have been done already! Compared to most other areas of Australia, Tasmania has a poor rate of retention at years 11 and 12 and well below average education participation rate for 20 to 24 year-olds.

While employment rates have improved in southern Tasmania in recent years there are still almost twice the number of young people unemployed compared to the general population over the age of 24.

One of the early tasks of the Taskforce is to draw up a list of potential barriers to Transition.

This is an evolving document. The major barriers currently under consideration relate to aspects of transport, accommodation, education, community/home, institutional, special health, and industry.

The Opportunity

The Taskforce project provides the opportunity to look afresh at a range of ways to help young people.

Consideration can be given to direct and underlying issues. The approach being adopted by the Southern Area Taskforce is to build an inclusive, flexible and broad network.

The network will include young people, parents, schools and colleges, the Institute of TAFE, and other training providers, the University of Tasmania, employers, business and industry, youth service providers, local councils, government and community organizations.

With a wide network of stakeholders involved in the project there is the potential to tackle broad problems and sort out issues between competing agencies and institutions.

It will be important to also work at a local level to bring about change at the community level as it is only through local communities embracing an issue that there is the opportunity for real and lasting change.

Structure

The Southern Area Taskforce is a project managed by the Southern Tasmania Councils Authority which is a cooperative partnership of the twelve municipalities in southern Tasmania.

The project is funded by the Department of Education under the ‘Guaranteeing Futures’ initiative .

The Southern Area Taskforce operates through two main committees.

These are the ‘Taskforce’ which is the management group, and the ‘Reference Group’ which provides advice and information to the Taskforce.