A record $59 million over four years will be invested in regional youth as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget to deliver local programs that ensure young people continue to thrive in their communities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the package included funding to appoint more Youth Community Coordinators (YCCs) to support young people in flood-affected areas of the State.

“The 10 YCCs already working in our regions have been instrumental in identifying young people who need additional help, encouraging and backing them to develop better relationships within their communities and connecting them with external and state-based services. This funding will build on that with targeted support in the areas hard hit by floods,” Mr Toole said.

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the package provided additional funding for the Regional Youth Radio Program to allow more young people to deliver radio and podcasting programs to ensure their voices were heard.

“This record investment allows the NSW Government to deliver targeted and collaborative support measures that build on the work we are already doing to ensure regional youth reach their full potential, without having to move to a major city,” Mr Franklin said.

“The funding will also support the continued rollout of the Holiday Break Program, which has allowed thousands more regional young people to take part in free or heavily subsidised recreational activities during their school holidays.

“Young people are key to maintaining vibrant regional communities, and the NSW Government is committed to ensuring regional youth have all the tools they need to grow into their best selves.”

The $59 million package includes measures to boost youth employment by increasing the number of school leavers who continue their education and training.

“This will be complimented by our Regional School Alumni Events program, which is helping young people in regional areas navigate what can be a difficult path from school to employment by inspiring the next generation of school leavers,” Mr Franklin said. 2

“These measures will support and strengthen our vision to ensure all regional young people have opportunities for meaningful work, accessible healthcare and education and to feel part of vibrant and inclusive communities.”