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A mayoral taskforce will tackle youth unemployment in Greater Dandenong.
At their Monday 23 January meeting, councillors agreed to establish a group to develop an action plan outlining a localised and co-ordinated response to high youth unemployment and disengagement rates in the municipality.
The Mayoral Youth Employment Taskforce will include government, service providers, agencies, education, local business and industry and will meet every two months for the next year.
Key objectives will include a stocktake of existing services and examples of good outcomes and best practice, identifying gaps, and considering options and initiatives to address barriers.
“I think we can all remember our first job,” Cr Sean O’Reilly said.
“While in retrospect it may not have been that great a job, it was exciting because we were starting our adult life.
“Too many of our youths have not had that experience, to engage in adult life and have a sense of purpose.”
The taskforce followed a report into how the council could improve employment for both young people and asylum seekers living in the municipality.
At their 12 December council meeting, councillors agreed to meet with the Greater Dandenong Council Asylum Seeker and Refugee Advisory Committee to discuss strategies for improved employment outcomes for asylum seekers.
The discussion will include establishing ongoing links between local employers and the not-for-profit organisations providing asylum seekers with employment and training.
A report to council is due by the end of April.
“It’s a human right to be engaged with where you live and there’s no better engagement than employment,” Cr Matthew Kirwan said.
“This council should be doing its utmost … so that asylum seekers aren’t just wandering aimlessly or waking up with very little to do.”

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