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Pictured: Students work on cars at the Hand Brake Turn site in south-eastern Melbourne supervised by a trainer.

Update: Hand Brake Turn classes have now recommenced. Find out more here. 

We’re very grateful that the Victorian Government has continued funding for Hand Brake Turn until the end of June 30.

Right now, social restrictions mean we can’t hold classes in our workshops. However, our classes need to be person-to-person so that our trainers and youth workers can provide firsthand relational support for some of the most vulnerable and disengaged young people in our community who face a range of barriers to their learning, including literacy and numeracy skills, social isolation, socials skills and mental health challenges.

The continuation of funding until June 30 will enable the Hand Brake Turn team to strengthen our program while classes cannot run, and then bring the students back into our workshops as soon as social distancing measures are lifted.

The Hand Brake Turn team is in regular contact with enrolled students, providing encouragement, sourcing existing online learning materials and planning for the development of our own online materials. This ongoing focus ensures that these young people can continue their learning and be fully equipped when they can return to our workshops.

This support from the State Government is so important. Hand Brake Turn students are diverse and many are among the most vulnerable young people in our community, with 45% identifying as having a disability, 7% identifying as Aboriginal, 7% female and 4% as having Sudanese background. As part of our Hand Brake Turn automotive course, they learn job and life skills so they can be job ready and make the most of their lives.

While we welcome the funding guarantee, it only makes up part of what we’ll need to stabilise and adapt to these new challenges and continue providing learning opportunities for vulnerable young people. We’ll continue seeking support from local Councils, grant funding organisations and the public.

We’re also pleased that the Victorian Government is providing emergency funding to support the broader learning community during this difficult time, including TAFES and other Learn Local providers.

To find out more about Hand Brake Turn, contact Geoff Manton, General Manager Education, Enterprise and Innovation. Email: geoff.manton@concernaustralia.org.au Mobile: 0418 502 386

For media enquiries, contact Lizzie Mettam, Communication and Relationship Manager. Email: lizzie.mettam@concernaustralia.org.au Mobile: 0452 249 450