Program provides job skills to ex-offenders

by Brett Henebery11 Aug 2017
The Victorian Government has announced a further $1.5m of funding towards the YMCA Bridge Project, which is boosting skills for up to 1,500 people who are seeking sustainable work.

The funding will support programs providing training and mentoring for ex-offenders who are trying to readjust into society and find work.

Victoria’s Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan, said the Bridge Employment Support and Training program (BEST), offers life skills and vocational training to build confidence, while also providing qualifications participants can use to find jobs.

“We are proud to make them part of the Jobs Victoria network to continue their amazing work,” he said.

“We want to end the cycle of reoffending, and that starts with giving people purpose, and an opportunity to contribute to the workplace. Jobs Victoria will help thousands of Victorian jobseekers who face barriers to work find and keep a job.”

YMCA Bridge Project Manager, Mick Cronin, said the project is “all about second chances, and sometimes even a third or fourth.”

“By giving people who have been involved in the criminal justice system the support, training and mentoring they need, we’re helping them get their lives back on track,” he said.

Previously run by the Department of Justice and Regulation, BEST will now be part of the highly-successful Jobs Victoria initiative.

Since 2006, the YMCA Bridge Project has helped more than 440 people find work, while more than 100 Victorian businesses have provided support and jobs to the program.

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