A COMMUNITY group wants to explore new mentoring programs for Colac teenagers.
People at an Our Kids Need You forum in Colac discussed ways to engage youths in Colac and district.
Group chairman Chris Smith said a suggestion came from an Otway Health employee to look at adopting an Apollo Bay mentor program for Year 10 students.
Mr Smith said the idea involved “taking Year 10 students that are at risk of potentially not finishing Year 10” and getting them to do ongoing work experience.
“Using the work experience framework, having the students do two days a week in a workplace, condition on them finishing Year 10,” he said.
“The main aim is to get them to finish Year 10.
“Further on from that, that could potentially lead to a school-based apprenticeship in Year 11.”
Mr Smith said he would take the idea to the Our Kids Need You steering committee to see if there was a need for it in Colac.
“Maybe there’s some areas in Colac where that could be used,” he said.
Mr Smith said an Apollo Bay mentoring program that could work in Colac involved businesses allowing staff to spend an hour a week at a school with students.
“We feel there’s a great deal of potential there,” he said.
“In these sorts of scenarios we go back to the steering committee, we then need to look at the schools that might be involved.”
Mr Smith said the group also discussed upcoming projects including a Youth Expo and a Colac Otway Youth Week in October.
The next forum is on July 31 at the CFA meeting room in Colac.