VicLLENs (Local Learning and Employment Networks) have been a strong influence in the education and training sector in Victoria since 2001. The goal of each of Victoria’s 31 LLENs is to improve outcomes for young people, 10–25 years old, by increasing opportunities for their participation, attainment and successful transitions in education, training or employment.
VicLLENs have a particular focus on young people who are at risk of disengaging, or who have already disengaged from education and training and are not in full time employment.
The work of all LLENs is fundamental to ensuring that our young people are supported to aspire to and achieve the very best possible education, training and employment outcomes.
LLEN stakeholder consultations clearly show that VicLLENs make a difference. The expertise, local knowledge and specific skill sets possessed by VicLLENs have taken years to develop and provide communities with increased capacity to address education and training needs on a local level.
Who we are and what we do
VicLLENs is a statewide network of 31 incorporated associations established in 2001 with two clear aims:
- to engage in community building through cooperative approaches to community renewal and coordination of service delivery;
- support and build shared responsibility and ownership for post-compulsory education and training for 15–19 year olds.
So, we focus on those young people who are at risk of disengaging or who have already disengaged from education and training and are not in meaningful employment.
We aim to bring together employers, schools, training organisations and others to help the complex process of getting teenagers into further education, training or work.
Why do we do it?
The overall youth unemployment rate in Victoria is 17 per cent. In some parts of the state, it is much higher.
Making the transition from school to work or further education/training can be hard where there are:
- High levels of youth unemployment
- Intergenerational poverty and family unemployment
- Low rates of school retention
- Inadequate support for making the transition from primary school to secondary school
- Lack of access to local secondary school places
- Poor transport connection to schools or training programs in nearby areas
- Early disengagement from learning
- Low employability skills, particularly in disadvantaged areas
Young people in rural and regional Victoria have more limited employment and training opportunities than those in towns and cities. But some young people living in high growth outer urban areas and on the suburban fringes also suffer from little or no transport, education and youth services.
How do we do it?
We undertake the work of networking — information exchange and analysis, strategic planning, identifying opportunities — that are beyond the scope or capacity of individual members.
We bring together education and training providers, business and industry, community agencies, and parent and family organisations.
“Each LLEN offers a range of programs uniquely tailored to local needs. We lift aspirations for young people, engaging youth, business and service providers to give at risk students the opportunity to continue studies, work in industry and learn some trades.”– Trent McCarthy, Chair VicLLENs
The independence of VicLLENs is important for local communities. Being neutral and impartial, LLENs are trusted by partners precisely because they have, and are seen to have, no vested interest. In addition, VicLLENs:
- Develop and implement innovative and creative ways to engage the most vulnerable young people into education, training and employment
- Are the only statewide organisation whose core business includes partnership building and facilitation, collaborative research, evidence based planning and whole-of-community capacity building
- Write and maintain Environmental Scans which provide a strong and demographic evidence base that includes a comprehensive analysis of local issues, education and training needs and skill shortages
- Create relationships that support increased opportunities for young people to make effective career choices
- Facilitate and implement transition support for young people, parents and families and education providers
- Work collaboratively with stakeholders to increase young people’s employability and life skills
- Respond to a variety of State and Commonwealth Government initiatives, assisting in the pilots and implementation of projects and programs such as VCAL and School Based Apprenticeship and Training support programs
- Build linkages between schools, business and industry to better identify local skills shortages and to inform training needs and opportunities.