Council partners with NSW Police and PCYC to help young people flourish

Council partners with NSW Police and PCYC to help young people flourish

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Penrith City Council is welcoming local teens with open arms to give them hands-on work experience through the Fit for Work program, a successful initiative of the NSW Police and the Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) NSW.  

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller developed the RISEUP strategy which offers job ready programs, mentoring and vocational training for young people aged between 15 and 18, to boost their education and workplace opportunities.

This is a collaboration with the PCYC and the flagship program of this early intervention strategy is Fit for Work, which creates pathways for young people as they gain real-life experiences in their community.

Penrith City Council General Manager, Warwick Winn, said Council is excited to assist the NSW Police and PCYC by taking part in the program, to support our City’s young people by exposing them to new experiences that contribute to positive outcomes in their everyday lives.

“We know the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow which is why Council is so passionate about helping young people establish these crucial foundations. It’s an opportunity for them to find their unique path, through experiencing a real-world work scenario, to assist them plan for a fulfilling future,” Mr Winn said.

“This week we welcomed a local student via the Fit for Work program who has been out in the community working with our City Presentation team completing various maintenance tasks.

“In just a few days this student has started to develop a bond with Council staff as they immerse themselves in the work experience, they’re asking questions, engaging and applying new knowledge through practice-based learning.”

RISEUP and The Fit for Work program has been in place across NSW since 2018, and results have shown the initiative encourages young people to establish new goals and nurtures a sense of purpose for many, as they gain a sense of pride, ownership and achievement throughout the course.

The program’s facilitators work closely with schools as the students spend three days a week undertaking the course and work experience and two days in their classroom at school.

Sergeant Luke Warburton of the Youth Command said it was wonderful to hear how many disengaged young people shifted their mindset and attitudes towards their future through experiencing the workforce firsthand.

“The last program we ran in Term 3 of this year has been very successful - we’ve had a number of young people receive apprenticeships as a result of that, so we are really proud of the program and how it runs,” Sergeant Warburton said.

“We give young people a stepping stone and the majority go on to find employment while some of them are re-engaged at school and end up going back to finish Year 12, which is a really good result,” he said.

Keeping these young people connected to their community and having the backing of other organisations such as the local council is a key component of the program’s success, according to Sergeant Warburton.

“We really appreciate Penrith City Council’s support, this is a great opportunity because there are so many different roles they can perform in Council and most of these young people want to be working - they like to be out, active and being outdoors rather than stuck behind a desk – so that’s why we think this partnership will work really well,” he said.

Mr Winn said Council is thrilled to be taking part in such a life-changing initiative for our City’s youth.

“We look forward to working with the NSW Police and the Penrith PCYC in the coming years as we see more of our City’s young people thrive and go on to do great things.”

Photo caption: (L-R) Sergeant Luke Warburton, Senior Constable Annie Knight, City Presentation Team Leader Will Robertson, Tyler Thompson (aged 15), Field Supervisor Paul Cullens, and Council’s General Manager Warwick Winn.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Sunday, 5 December 2021.