Young people at Cobham Youth Justice Centre hit top gear with new motor skills

NSW Gov

Young people at Cobham Youth Justice Centre in Western Sydney are getting hands-on experience in simulated work environments that provide an avenue to the automotive industry post-release.

The donation of an MX5 motor by the Motor Trades Association (MTA) will help young people at the Putland Education and Training Unit, located within Cobham, gain useful mechanical skills, while dedicated Try a Trade Days and workshops provide further opportunities for young people to try their hand at new skills.

The MX5 motor is a readily accessible resource young people can tinker with and it complements the skills and training initiatives jointly provided by NSW Youth Justice, the Department of Education (which operates schools within each of the six Youth Justice Centres) and Training Services NSW.

In April, the Motor Trades Association ran a four-day panel workshop to provide accreditation opportunities for young people, while the Cobham Youth Justice Centre held its biggest Try a Trade Day yet, with 10 trades on offer.

Through Try a Trade, young people can experiment with concreting, hospitality, traffic control, gyprocking, bricklaying, barbering, roofing, plumbing and bike mechanics and fencing.

Try a Trade days are run across all six Youth Justice Centres and they enable young people to experience what a day in the life of a ‘tradie’ feels like, while also setting up potential business connections in the outside world.

Since December 2022, more than 200 young people have taken part in Try a Trade days and several young people have taken up trade apprenticeships upon release.

Minister for Youth Justice Jihad Dib said:

“It is important that during their time in the youth justice system, young people have every opportunity to find a more positive pathway upon release.”

“The skills and training initiatives available in these centres are a great example of the work Youth Justice is doing, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Training Services NSW, to provide new experiences and options for young people.”

“The generous donation of a MX5 motor by the Motor Trades Association gives young people in Cobham a resource they can use to hone their mechanical skills, providing a potential pathway into the automotive industry.”

“Specialised schools, such as the Putland Education and Training Unit within the Cobham Youth Justice Centre, are essential in providing pathways for young people. Through education and training, we aim to empower students to make positive contributions to society.”

“This course is more than just a training opportunity; it’s a lifeline for these students. It offers a tangible pathway to success, opening doors to apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.”

“In creating these opportunities, we’re offering a pathway to young offenders who may not have supportive environments to return to. Here, they can flourish and thrive, building brighter futures for themselves and the community.”

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