Cessnock City Council has partnered with Youth Express and RGH Driver Training to deliver professional driver training and mentoring to young people in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA). The training is aimed at breaking down potential barriers to employment.
Transport issues and the lack of a driver’s licence are a primary obstacle to gaining employment for young people, particularly in regional areas. The Cessnock Youth Driver Training Program provides a pathway for local youth to achieve a driver’s licence.
The program is expected to support more than 50 young residents to obtain their provisional licence. To date, the program has approved 48 applications for driving lessons. Teresa Hughes from Youth Express and Danielle O’Hara from RGH Driver Training have been instrumental in coordinating the delivery of 115 hours of driver training.
Ryan Hodgins is the first person to successfully obtain a provisional licence using this program. He said the program has assisted him to further develop a sense of independence.
“Getting my P’s has given me a lot more freedom, and will definitely help me get around and find work.”
Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Manager Tony Chadwick said the program allows young people to gain a sense of independence and take their first steps toward securing ongoing employment.
“This initiative is a great way to help our young people get their start in the job market, while at the same time developing an essential life skill.”
The Cessnock Youth Driver Training Program has been funded through the NSW Government’s Resources for Regions Program.