Nonattendance in the middle years in Whittlesea

Year: 2018

Author: Brown, Seth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The problem of young people’s education to work pathways is persistent and troubling for schools, communities, businesses and governments – particularly in certain ‘unemployment hotspots’. The Brotherhood of St Laurence highlights Melbourne’s outer northeast as one of Victoria’s youth unemployment ‘hotspots’ with an unemployment rate of 15.7%. The Whittlesea Middle Years Development Instrument 2016 School District Report also finds that 42% of 901 young people reported negative responses on their Well-Being Index. This project used an Action Research (AR) methodology/approach to establish three Action Research workshops with purposely selected participants from a local youth committee consisting of members from a number of organisations that work with young people. The local youth committee identified the need to develop ‘socio-ecological models’ of resilience to re-frame the concept and performance of ‘resilience’ in ways that would enable young people, parents, schools and stakeholders to foster and promote ‘ecologies of resilience’ that facilitated education-work pathways in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs. The project reports on findings from the data collected through observations of the three AR workshops and the documentary analysis of data such as pre-existing publicly available program and internal reports, evaluation and media reports, and mission statements from the three AR workshops. The findings reveal a socio-ecological model that addresses the issue of nonattendance in the middle years in Whittlesea. The discussion addresses the implications of these findings for stakeholders working with young people and the value for further research to build ‘socio-ecological models’ of resilience that facilitate education-work pathways.