State government to provide Highlands LLEN funds for 2015 after federal cuts

HIGHLANDS Local Learning and Employment Network looks set to be saved from the chopping block for 2015 with the state government agreeing to fund the network for an extra year.

Education Minister Martin Dixon. File image

Education Minister Martin Dixon. File image

However, it is still unknown what sort of funding arrangement would be provided past this date if the Liberal Party is to be re-elected in November. 

“New arrangements will be developed with input from LLENs, Workplace learning co-ordinators, schools, industry and other stakeholders that support improved educational outcomes in the new context without federal government funding in 2016,” Education Minister Martin Dixon said. 

It comes only a week after an announcement was made by the Opposition to fund the network for four years if it was to be elected.

Mr Dixon said students deserved “better than a political bidding war” and the announcement gave students and providers funding certainty for 2015. 

The increased funding from both sides of politics comes in the wake of federal budget cuts of $11 million a year for the network.

That funding made up most of the budget for LLENs across the state, with executive officer Janine Bennett previously telling The Courier she was concerned about the impact the cuts might have on vulnerable youth across the region. 

The increase in funding from the state government and Opposition is still a shortfall from the budget allocated in 2014 to the LLENs across the state.

The LLENs’ main purpose is to support students aged from 10 to 19 by improving their participation and engagement with education, as well as transitioning into employment.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com,au

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