Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM and Minister for Police Troy Grant and have launched a bold new mentoring program that will steer disengaged young people away from crime and into education, vocational training and employment.
The new RISEUP program, developed personally by Commissioner Fuller and run statewide in partnership with Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) and leading businesses, will help ensure 15 to 18-year-olds remain on the right side of the law and have a bright working future.
“This is an outstanding initiative that will build on the excellent work NSW Police are doing to reduce crime across NSW, while further boosting the employment prospects of young people,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Under the RISEUP program, young people will be supported by NSW Police and PCYC youth workers to secure a job, including help with literacy, numeracy and vocational education, mentoring and work experience.”
It comes after the NSW Liberals & Nationals allocated record funding of nearly $40 million for the PCYC in the 2018/19 State Budget, helping to build four new clubs and upgrading five existing clubs.
The RISEUP program links with businesses so that young people receive real-life, on-the-job training in the workforce, and includes workshops on relationship building, nutrition, leadership and assistance to tackle the underlying causes of crime.
Business and organisations that have joined the RISEUP initiative, and will provide practical support to young people, include Allianz, TAFE, Snowy Hydro, Hungry Jacks and Commonwealth Bank. The initiative will operate state-wide in partnership with PCYC NSW supported by a cornerstone funding grant from the Macquarie Group Foundation.
Commissioner Fuller added, “It has been my long-held view that by investing in preventative strategies with our young people, we can save a generation of children from a life of crime.
“RISEUP is breaking through barriers to engage our vulnerable young people from heading down a less desirable path in life and giving them a career start, which is a priority of mine.
“Importantly, employment gives our youth a sense of achievement, pride and structure they might not be getting in a traditional family environment and it’s humbling to know we have some of the country’s biggest businesses standing beside us to support our future leaders.”
Mr Grant said this initiative has the potential to be a life-changing opportunity for young people who are in danger of heading down the wrong path.
“Developing teenagers’ vocational skills and connecting them with business will help build their self-esteem and confidence to take their life in a positive direction,” said Mr Grant.
The NSW Police Force is encouraging employers to participate in the RISEUP program. For more information, please visit www.riseup.org.au.