Youth Connect and Whitelion Merge
For 23 years Youth Connect has delivered programs and services with and for young people. With the continual focus and development of ensuring that young people remain at the core of what we do, we are delighted to announce that Youth Connect has merged with Whitelion.
Over the last 5 years Youth Connect and Whitelion have collaborated on a number of programs including the State Government Workforce Participation Program (Work this Way) for which we successfully lobbied for a two year extension. Whitelion has also been involved in our Youth Diversion Program Right Step over a number of years. In July 2015 we formed a partnership with Whitelion to offer the Stride School Relationship and Resilience programs together with our Career and Transition programs.
Whitelion has created the Whitelion Group which includes, Open Family Australia, Stride Foundation and the Balga Detached-Youth Work Project. Youth Connect and our program branding will became part of the Whitelion Group. The synergies, core values and common interests of each organisation include:
- Young people
- Reducing the multiple and complex barriers some young people face while remaining engaged with education training or employment.
- Providing tools to those connected with and supporting young people including parents, extended families, carers and employers.
Youth Connect programs will support and add value to Whitelion’s programs that address risk factors including unemployment and school-disengagement. Through intervention services including support for vocational pathways and preventative programs in schools, the combined suite of programs aims to support greater youth independence with an increase in the number of at risk young people into employment.
A Continuity and Development strategy will see service delivery maintained and developed in our region including the scaling up of our Career and Transition and PACTS programs in Whitelion’s regions across Australia. Youth Connect’s community programs, Dare2B and Applied Learning Awards and Vet Brokerage will also be maintained. An exploration strategy has been developed to build on Youth Connect’s Social Enterprise Wheelly Good Coffee, which has already received significant support from Whitelion’s Corporate Partners.
Danny will provide program and operational transition support to both Youth Connect and Whitelion staff. In particular he will be supporting the development of the Wheelly Good Coffee strategy and program development.
The merger will take effect from 1 January 2016. Our office in Moorabbin will remain open with final location arrangements currently being considered. We are also planning a launch early in the New Year to which we look forward to welcoming you too.
We are thrilled about the opportunity that this presents Youth Connect to be able to continue the impact we have had with and for the community. Should you have any questions now and during our transition over the coming months please contact Danny directly at [email protected] or on 8306 6300.
Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board for their vision and fortitude. We would like to thank the staff for their continued dedicated professionalism which has ensured Youth Connect is seen as outstanding example of an organisation supporting the pathways and transitions young people take through school, further training, higher education and employment.
Danny Schwarz Roland Lindell
Chief Executive Officer Chairperson