Training Minister and local MP Kay Hallahan today urged community groups to throw their weight behind the innovative Youth Conservation Corps training scheme.
Mrs Hallahan said there was a shortage of proposals from local government and community groups for projects to be tackled by the teams of young unemployed.
The Minister said the Corps gave 15-strong teams of unemployed young people a combination of TAFE training and practical experience on heritage or conservation projects.
An initial five pilot projects - providing opportunities for 75 young people - were funded as part of the Premier's Social Advantage package and were underway in East Perth, Hazelmere, Parkerville, Denmark and Coolup/South Dandalup.
But a further 500 places were now available following an injection of Federal Government funds through the Landcare and Environment Action Program - part of the Prime Minister's youth employment package.
Ideas for heritage or conservation projects were now needed, Mrs Hallahan said.
"Possible projects include the construction of boardwalks in national parks, revegetation of nature reserves, soil conservation, river and creek improvement, waste recycling and the restoration of buildings, bridges and other landmarks," she said.
Mrs Hallahan said the program met the cost of TAFE training and a supervisor for each project and the Commonwealth also provided the young people with income support.
Sponsor organisations, such as local governments, conservation, heritage or land care groups, Aboriginal or ethnic communities, ran individual projects with co-ordination by the State Government.
Leading world environmentalist Dr David Suzuki and Premier Carmen Lawrence are patrons of the innovative training scheme.
Further information was available by 'phoning Mrs Hallahan's office on 399 3600.