Young offenders will have access to free Tafe courses under a new intiative by the state Labor government.
Young offenders will have access to free Tafe courses under a new intiative by the state Labor government. Contributed

Free TAFE courses for young criminals

YOUNG offenders will have access to free TAFE courses under a new initiative by the state Labor government.

The Queensland Government will be offering vocational training support to young people who have been in contact with the youth justice system.

The new initiative is designed to help them break the cycle of crime and further their chances of regular employment.

Minister for Youth Di Farmer said study and subsequent employment was the best way out of a slippery slope of crime.

"The best way to stop a young person from re-offending is for them to get a job," she said.

"For a young person, getting a job isn't just about earning money and being independent.

"It can give them a sense of capability and pride in themselves which in turn is strong motivation to keep achieving."

Ms Farmer said all young Queenslanders deserve the opportunity to get the skills and education needed to find employment.

"Getting a TAFE qualification can be absolutely life-changing - a key that can open doors to getting a job and breaking that cycle," she said.

"For young people who have been in contact with the Youth Justice system, it's also strong motivation not to re-offend.

"But for a lot of young people in the Youth Justice system, it can be harder to complete a qualification due to gaps in high school education, or a lack of family support.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the Youth Justice Training Initiative opens opportunities for young people in the Youth Justice system to get qualifications in high-demand industries.

"We want all young Queenslanders to have the opportunity to gain an education without barriers," Ms Fentiman said.

"The Youth Justice Training Initiative offers that bit of extra support to help these young people take the first steps on a path to long-term employment.

"By 2020, more than half of all jobs will require a VET qualification, so by investing in these courses now, we're investing in young people's futures."