Department program

Reconnect: Engagement and Learning Support Program

​This initiative was established in response to a recent decline in:

  • the number of young, early school leavers enrolling in vocational education and training programs
  • 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.

What 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

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.

Program delivery

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. 

Lead providers include:

  • Access Skills Training
  • AMES Australia
  • Avenue Neighbourhood House
  • Berry Street
  • 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
  • Diversitat
  • Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services
  • Federation University
  • Jesuit Community College
  • KYM Victoria Incorporated
  • Melbourne City Mission
  • Mountain District Learning Centre
  • South West Institute of TAFE
  • South West Victorian SEAL
  • SuniTAFE
  • The Gordon
  • Wodonga TAFE
  • Wyndham CEC

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.

Links with other youth e​​​ngagement initiatives

The Victorian Government funds several initiatives to increase the connection of young people with school and learning.

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