LAKE Macquarie businesses are being encouraged to register their interest in mentoring and building vocational skills in young people to help divert them away from crime and into education and employment opportunities.
The new RISEUP program has been developed by NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller and will run state-wide in partnership with Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) and local businesses.
The program is designed to help disengaged 15- to 18-year-olds remain on the right side of the law and have a bright working future.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, said the initiative had the potential to make a real difference in a young person’s life.
“The RISEUP program links young people with employers to receive real-life, on-the-job training in the workforce, and includes workshops on leadership, relationship-building, and practical education to boost numeracy and literacy,” Mr MacDonald said.
“As a community it is vital that we work with vulnerable teens so they can develop into thriving, civic-minded individuals.
“I am delighted that our community has the chance to be involved in this extremely worthwhile initiative.”
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Minister for Police Troy Grant said the PCYC and NSW Police Force did remarkable work engaging young people in sport and recreational activities and diverting them away from a life of crime.
“RISEUP builds on this success, developing teenagers’ vocational skills, connecting them with business and increasing their self-esteem to take their life in a positive direction,” Mr Grant said.
Commissioner Fuller said by investing in preventative strategies with young people, communities could save a generation of children from a life of crime.
“Importantly, employment gives our youth a sense of achievement, pride and structure they might not be getting in a traditional family environment and it’s humbling to know we have some of the country’s biggest businesses standing beside us to support our future leaders,” Commissioner Fuller said.