Youth strategy released for comment


A STRATEGY to help young people in the Coffs Harbour City Council local government area during the next three years is out for public comment.

People have until 15 August to comment about Council’s plans.

The strategy outlines Council‘s aspirations to address key issues identified by local young people and the youth sector.

A key action in the strategy is for Council to work with the youth sector to develop a ‘youth sector action plan’.

“Providing better and more opportunities for our youth is vitally important,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor Paul Amos.

“The draft strategy recognises that our region has historically had some of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the country – a fact that I know concerns all levels of government,” he said.

“Plus, the impacts of COVID-19 have had a disproportionately damaging effect on young people, both in education and those looking to enter the workforce.

“Housing insecurity is also a major challenge,” said Cr Amos.

“I’m very encouraged that so many of our youth have enthusiastically worked with us in the development of this strategy.

“They are the experts on their own life experiences, but we all need to work together as a community to help give our young people the future they deserve,” he said.

“I’d urge everyone to please take the time to read and provide feedback on the draft strategy so that we can move forward positively on the action plan.”

Young people aged between 12 and 24 currently account for just over 30 per cent of the Coffs Harbour community. According to the latest available ABS statistics:
● 40.5 per cent of young people rent, greater than the state average.
● Only 38.7 per cent of residents aged more than 15 years have completed year 12, compared with 52.1 per cent across NSW.
● Toormina has a very low index of relative socio-economic disadvantage score, – 8 per cent. This means only 8 per cent of Australia’s suburbs are more disadvantaged and 92 per cent of Australia’s suburbs are more advantaged.

The draft strategy is underpinned by key issues identified in an earlier ‘Youth Issues and Options’ paper.

These are movement and connectivity, employment and education, housing and homelessness, spaces and places, entertainment, events, and things to do, personal and community safety, youth voice, engagement and inclusion, attraction and retention of young people, health, disadvantage, Council workforce diversity, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.

The draft youth strategy has been youth- and sector-led.

It began in 2016 with a youth-led research project commissioned by Council.

This research helped Council understand the views and preferences around ongoing consultation and engagement with young people and culminated in a youth issues and options paper, which was publicly exhibited in 2020.

Young people and the youth sector were further engaged during the recent review of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan.

You can view and make a submission on the draft youth strategy 2022-2025 via Council’s Have Your Say website from Monday 18 July until 15 August 2022.

Following the exhibition period and consideration of the submissions, the youth strategy will be returned to Council for adoption.

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