MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:37): Today I would like to focus on the important Reconnect program, which the Andrews Labor government established in 2015 to support disadvantaged Victorians to gain access to education, training and skills. Since that time thousands of Victorians have participated in the Reconnect program, and many have gone on to fulfilling careers in areas such as horticulture, community services and education support. Reconnect offers wraparound support to address barriers that impact on—
The PRESIDENT: Members, thank you!
Ms TIERNEY: Reconnect offers wraparound support to address barriers that impact on the individual’s capacity to achieve their goals, and I am proud to say that this program is working. Reconnect has a holistic approach which focuses on the individual.
The $47 million funding commitment to extend the Reconnect program for a further four years has been welcomed by all. With the reinvestment in Reconnect we will now support more Victorians, each and every one of them, to gain access to these important services which are tailored to address their needs and change lives. It is now delivered across 70 Victorian local government areas by TAFEs, Learn Locals and community support services. To support the transition to education and training, Reconnect provides additional support in counselling and mentoring, housing and accommodation referrals, and mental health support referrals. These services support individuals to further develop their foundation and employability skills and support them on a pathway to further training and education, and employment. It will empower them to participate in training and education as well as expand their community and social engagement opportunities.
We are continuing to build our outreach activities to engage with people experiencing disadvantage to enable them to transition into an inclusive and accessible learning environment. This government is committed to supporting our most disadvantaged and vulnerable Victorians to gain access to high-quality education and training, and employment pathways. We are dedicated to working with every Victorian to build a positive future.