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Youth to Get Great Access to Digital Tech in NSW

From developing work-ready skills, and improving health services to improving access to digital technology, regional youth will be empowered to build their future through an AU$ 40 million investment by the NSW Government. The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW recently announced the new AU$40 million ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ program, aimed at supporting regional youth to create their future.

He noted that this is an investment that has been shaped by youth for youth. 2000 young people in regional communities across the state were engaged in order to understand what matters to them and to ensure this investment will meet the needs of the next generation, now and into the future.

It is known that young people experience challenges differ depending on where they live, and the ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ Regional Youth Investment Program is about empowering regional youth to drive local solutions to local issues.

Grants worth as much as AU$3 million will be delivered for targeted local initiatives that ensure regional youth can reach their full potential in their local communities. The Minister for Regional Youth said the funding will be allocated across nine areas identified as high priorities by the Regional Youth Taskforce and Regional Youth Insights – the largest regional youth research project ever commissioned by the NSW Government.

He said that from more mental health support and improved career pathways to greater recreational activities and reliable public transport, this research told us exactly what our regional youth want and need.

He added that the 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.

The ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ has funding available for projects to:

  • Enhance high school engagement and retention
  • Develop work-ready skills, knowledge and networks
  • Increase access and quality of health services including provision of youth services
  • Improve access to public and private transport
  • Better access to digital technology and digital skills
  • Deliver more community youth projects
  • Support at-risk-youth
  • Assist young people to secure affordable housing

The $40 million package is part of the NSW Government’s record investment in regional youth through the 2022-23 NSW Budget. Applications for the Regional Youth Investment Program are now open and will close on 4 October 2022.

Digital tech to deliver benefits across the economy and society

The opportunities afforded by digital technologies are not constrained to technology-based companies and start-ups – they can add value across all parts of the economy.

For businesses, these technologies have the potential to help develop new products, access new markets, work more efficiently and improve the bottom line, better target consumer preferences through the use of data, and deliver safer working environments.

To enable this, the Australian Government is working to boost inclusion. The Government believes all Australians should have the opportunity to acquire digital skills regardless of their age, level of education or previous experience. The Government will collaborate with key stakeholders to explore initiatives to reduce the digital inclusion divide and support greater lifelong engagement in evolving technological resources.

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