The Government has committed $14 million to the Reconnect: Engagement and Learning Support Grants Program
The program was established in response to a recent decline in the number of young, early school leavers enrolling in vocational education and training programs, and in foundation skills in particular.
Vulnerable young people who leave school early often face multiple barriers to re-engaging in education and training and transitioning to the workforce or further training. They are at risk of remaining disengaged unless they can access the individual wrap around services needed to successfully support them back into education, training or employment.
The Reconnect Grants program is part of the $20 million Reconnect initiative which also provides an additional $6 million in subsidy loadings of ten percent for early school leavers aged 15-19 in any VCAL course. The Reconnect initiative is part of the Back to Work scheme, announced in October 2015.
What will Reconnect programs do?
Reconnect programs will assess the learning and non-learning needs and career goals of eligible young people and develop an agreed learning plan.
Support will be provided to assist young people to commence and stay in vocational training.
Supervised workplace experience will be arranged to increase employability, as well as the provision of support to assist students transitioning to employment or further training.
Who will benefit from the Reconnect program?
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that are funded to deliver Reconnect services will locate and engage eligible young people aged 15-24 who have left school without completing Year 12 and are not in education, training or full time employment, or are aged 20-24 and completed Year 12 but have been unemployed for more than 12 months.
Who is delivering the Reconnect programs?
RTOs on the Foundation Skills Approved Provider List for 2016 were invited to apply for Reconnect Grants funding for the period 2016-17. Following a competitive selection process, 26 RTOs are receiving funding to deliver Reconnect services to eligible young people in locations across the state.
Learn Local organisations and TAFE Institutes were the major recipients in the program, which will commence in May-June 2016. Lead providers include:
Access Skills Training
Avenue Neighbourhood House
Ballarat Group Training (BGT)
Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE
Box Hill Institute
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Chisholm Institute of TAFE
Community College Gippsland
Diamond Valley Learning Centre
Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services
Jesuit Community College
KYM Victoria Incorporated
Melbourne City Mission
Mountain District Learning Centre
South West Institute of TAFE
South West Victorian SEAL
Each Reconnect provider will work with Learn Local organisations and other community organisations to provide appropriate wrap around support and services for eligible young people.
How does Reconnect link with other youth engagement initiatives?
The Victorian Government funds several initiatives to increase the connection of young people with school and learning. The $8.6 million Navigator service pilot will support young people aged 12-17 years who are not connected to school or are at risk of disengaging from school. Navigator service providers will track and monitor young people, identify gaps in local services and support planning to address these gaps.
Reconnect and Navigator will provide complementary services in identifying pathways for young people in their shared cohort of 15-17 year olds. Where possible, Navigator will support young people to re-engage with school. If that is not possible, these young people may benefit from referral to Reconnect services.
For further information about the Navigator service pilot, see
Navigator Pilot Program
How can I find out more about Reconnect?
General inquiries about the Reconnect program should be directed to
As programs commence, this section will be updated with contact details for funded Reconnect providers.