Funded by the Department of Education, Reconnect provides individual support to plan a return to education, training and employment.
Reconnect Case Workers conduct a holistic assessment of individual circumstances, discuss goals and aspirations, provide career advice and guidance, as well as assist with all aspects of enrolment into accredited training.
The Reconnect program provides participants with:
Individual support to plan career pathways, with face-to-face meetings conducted close to home
An exploration of the challenges associated with a return to study or employment and access to the support needed
Referral to external services, such as health care, financial or legal services
Assistance to navigate course options, training providers, and all stages of course enrolment
Financial assistance, to assist with training and employment-related expenses
Once enrolled in training or employed, guidance and support to remain engaged
Prace delivers the Reconnect Program in the City of Darebin, Whittlesea, Banyule, Nillumbik, Moreland and Mitchell (Wallan, Beveridge and Kilmore).
NEW ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA*
Those aged 17-19 who are disengaged from education and training for six months or more (disengaged defined as reduced engagement in this activity at 8 hours a week or less). Young people can also be employed, however they must not be enrolled in secondary school.
Those aged 20-64 who are disengaged from education, training or employment for six months or more (disengaged defined as reduced engagement in this activity at 8 hours a week or less).
SPECIAL CATEGORY CRITERIA—those who meet any of the following criteria are eligible for Reconnect
Asylum Seekers on one of the following VISAs: Bridging VISA Class E (BVE); Safe Haven Enterprise VISA (SHEV); or a Temporary Protection VISA (TPV)
Those aged 17-24, and currently on, or previously on, a Youth Justice order. Orders include: Community Sentences; Youth Control Order; Probation Order; Youth Supervision Order; Youth Attendance Order; Detention (custodial) Sentences; Youth Residential Centre Order or Youth Justice Centre Order
*Those who do not meet the new Reconnect eligibility criteria may be eligible for an exemption (at the discretion of the Department of Education).
Participants need to meet either Criteria 1 or 2 to be eligible. Those who do not meet this criteria, but do meet the Special Category Criteria need only meet one of these criteria to be eligible.
Amanda*, aged 22, was referred to Reconnect by her local Council youth service. She had been unemployed for two years, and had not undertaken any training since leaving school in Year 11. Amanda struggled with anxiety and depression for twelve months, but felt that returning to education would be a move in the right direction for her. In exploring her goals, Amanda discussed an interest in hospitality and tourism, and hoped to find employment in a bar or restaurant. Her Reconnect Case Worker explored options around this, with Amanda deciding to undertake a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, which included specialist barista training, Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate and a work experience component at a local café. Through this time, Amanda continued to meet regularly with her Case Worker, who also linked her in with a housing service when her living arrangements became unstable. Amanda applied for work at a café soon after her course ended, and was successful in gaining casual employment. In the months since exiting Reconnect, Amanda went on to obtain employment in a hotel, where she continues to work whilst also undertaking further training around business management.