The Skills First Reconnect program supports learners that may experience a barrier to learning and transitioning to the workforce. As a Skills First Reconnect participant learners can:
- engage with further training and education with the help of suitable support services
- build their resilience and capacity to help them move from formal learning to employment.
Reconnect Program (2021) - applications now open
The Reconnect Program (2021) grant to commence in January 2021, is now open for applications.
The Reconnect Program (2021) has introduced a number of changes to ensure the program is participant centred, provider enabled, and outcome driven. The Reconnect Program (2021) Guidelines provides details of the program strategy, structure, operations, funding and supports. It is important that each applicant familiarise themselves with this document in order to understand what the program expects of the organisations, as well as the participants and the partners.
In order to be eligible to apply for the Reconnect Program (2021), organisations must meet a number of criteria. Please refer to the Application Handbook for this detail.
Application form and process
The application form is an online form, the Department requires the Applicant to be a registered user in order to save or submit an application form.
The online application form is available here.
Online information forum 11:30 Thursday, 24 September 2020
On Thursday, 24 September 2020 at 11:30am, the Department of Education and Training will hold a live information forum to present the information contained in the Reconnect Program (2021) Guidelines. Potential applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Release of application
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Online information session
11.30am, Thursday, 24 September 2020
Closing date & time of application
Sunday, 4 October 2020, midnight
Announcement of successful organisations
By Friday, 30 November 2020
Funding agreement in place
By Friday, 30 November 2020
Reconnect Program (2021) Guidelines
Reconnect Program (2021) Application Handbook
Reconnect Program (2021) Application Terms & Conditions
Victorian Department of Education Common Funding Agreement (CFA) and Terms & Conditions
Slide Pack from Information Session
Please contact the Department’s Reconnect Program team via
Reconnect.Program@education.vic.gov.au or speak to Stefanie Wale, Senior Project Officer, Program Management Unit on 03 7022 0606.
Current Reconnect contract (concluding December 2020)
How it works
Under the program, selected TAFEs and Learn Local registered training organisations (RTOs) receive funding to provide Victorian learners:
- to address barriers to enrolling in and completing an accredited training program and a supervised work experience placement
- with access to specialist support services such as health, accommodation, and personal and relationship supports.
The Skills First Reconnect program is designed to address disadvantage and promote equity.
Who can access Skills First Reconnect
Learners referred to Skills First Reconnect must be:
- high-needs learners aged 17 to 19 who have not completed year 12 or equivalent and are not in education, training or full time employment; or
- individuals aged 20 to 64 who have not completed year 12 or equivalent and who are long-term unemployed.
Support for learners
Vulnerable young people who leave school early and the long-term unemployed often face multiple barriers to learning and transitioning to the workforce. The risk of disengagement is high unless targeted services are available to support these learners back into education, training or employment.
With the right support, these learners stand to gain the most in terms of increases in participation, employment and income.
Reconnecting Victorians with educational and employment opportunities
Skills First Reconnect leverages strong networks to refer learners to the support services that best meet their needs.
Skills First Reconnect providers partner with Learn Local providers to provide expanded learning opportunities that help learners gain the foundational skills necessary to transition into accredited training.
As part of the Skills First Reconnect program, RTOs:
- undertake outreach and engagement activities to locate, engage and attract disengaged, high-needs learners back into a learning environment
- assess the learning and non-learning needs of Reconnect participants and develop an agreed learning plan to transition participants to further training or employment
- coordinate and provide access to support services that help participants start and stay in training.
Skills First Reconnect providers
Skills First Reconnect services are provided by 27 providers: