The first batch of unemployed young people who took part in the Government's innovative Western Australian Youth Conservation Corps work experience and training scheme, had their contribution to WA recognised tonight.
In a graduation ceremony at Government House, scheme founder and Training Minister Kay Hallahan said the participants had made a lasting contribution to WA with their work experience on a series of important heritage and conservation projects.
"Projects undertaken by the teams of young people included restoration and landscaping at the historic East Perth cemetery, bushland regeneration at Parkerville, replanting of wetlands, land care in Coolup and South Dandalup, and conservation work in Denmark," Mrs Hallahan said.
The Minister said the WA Youth Conservation Corps projects combined work experience and formal training through TAFE and renewed young people's self confidence.
"Taking part in the projects equips young people with the skills and confidence to enter the workforce, further education or training," she said.
Mrs Hallahan presented the 54 young people with graduation certificates signed by WA Youth Conservation Corps patrons Premier Carmen Lawrence and leading world environmentalist Dr David Suzuki.
Last week, Federal Employment, Education and Training Minister Kim Beazley and Mrs Hallahan announced 27 new projects providing opportunities for more than 435 young people.
The new projects, funded under the Federal Government's Landcare and Environment Action program (LEAP), boost the number of young people involved in the WA Youth Conservation Corps to about 600.