Help shape Victoria’s new youth policy

youth hands

The development of a new policy aimed at improving government support for young Victorians has begun, and input from young people and those who work to support them is being sought.

The new youth policy aims to improve outcomes for young people aged 12 to 24 years, especially those who are disadvantaged and disengaged.

Once finalised, the policy will build a coordinated approach to:

  • youth issues across government
  • increasing the focus on early intervention and prevention
  • strengthening engagement and involvement by young people in policies and programs that affect them.

An online platform is available for young people, their families and carers, community leaders, schools and organisations providing support for young people to come together and discuss their thoughts and ideas.

Getting involved is easy! Just visit and click on the section most relevant to you. The consultation closing date is 30 October.

Farewell & Good Luck Carmen!

We’re sad to announce that our wonderful Projects & Partnerships Manager Carmen Fifield finishes up with Central Ranges LLEN today, after 2.5 years creating exciting partnerships between schools, training providers and local industry. Carmen is setting up her new business, The Brewer’s Table in Station St, Seymour (formerly Veneto Blu). While ‘The Table’ (as likely regulars, we’ve already shortened the name!) doesn’t open for business until 10 August, it’s already a hit on Facebook, attracting almost 500 likes. Please LIKE Carmen’s exciting new venture, which we know will be a role model employer of young people!

New Chief Executive Officer wanted at Central Ranges LLEN!!!

CRLLEN LogoThe Board of the Central Ranges LLEN is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer after the resignation of current CEO Boyd Maplestone.

The Board is seeking to fill an interim Chief Executive Officer role till 31st of January 2015, at which time the CEO role will be advertised for a period of time that reflects the length of future funding.

This is an exciting and dynamic role that required excellent strategic, analytical, management and communications skills.

The Central Ranges LLEN covers the Shires of Macedon Ranges, Mitchell and Murrindindi with its office based in Kilmore.

The Board has prepared a Chief Executive Officer Position Description, which requires applicants to provide a resume, cover letter and address the selection criteria by 5pm Thursday 4th of September.

Interviews will be conducted on Wednesday 10th of September.

For more information about the role please review the Position Description or contact Doreen Power, Chairperson, Central Ranges LLEN Inc.  Contacts are available in Position Description.



Farewell CEO

Boyd MaplestoneThe Central Ranges LLEN Chief Executive Officer, Boyd Maplestone has taken up an opportunity to work with one of the Central Ranges LLEN’s Local Governments – Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

Boyd will be the new Coordinator of Economic Development at the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and has subsequently resigned from the CEO role.  It has been almost five years to the day that Boyd has been in the role.

Boyd spoke of key achievements in that time being the successful $11.3 Million Trade Training Centre application, Murrindindi Training Institute, Murrindindi and Macedon Ranges Training Needs Analysis reports, doubling of VETis enrolments, Health Industry Workplace Manual, Macedon Ranges Youth Partnerships projects, facilitating nine different local networks many of which are now sustainably lead by local stakeholders.

Boyd’s departure creates a new opportunity for a new CEO.  To find out more go to our CEO Recruitment page.



Victorian Government – funds LLENs for 2015

CRLLEN LogoThe Government of Victoria has announced funding for all 31 LLENs across Victoria, including the Central Ranges LLEN.

The commitment is for one year, in 2015, at $8 Million across all 31 LLENs.





See media release Minister Martin Dixon.

This is great news for the LLEN Network to ensure we can continue our work for at least one more year.  It was hoped the current government would match Labor’s electoral commitment of four years at $ 8 Million dollars.

The LLEN Network will continue to advocate for sustainable funding beyond 2015.

Central Ranges LLEN – welcomes Labor party commitment to 4 years funding


The Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Networks, has welcomed the announcement by the Labor Party that it will continue to provide funding for the next four years, if it wins the state election in November.

The LLENs, which have existed since 2001, have been co-funded by the Victorian and federal governments from 2010 to 2014, but from next year, funding will be the responsibility of the Victorian government alone.

In 2014, the Federal Government funded LLENs $10 million and the Victorian government funded LLENs $2.3 Million, a total budget of $12.3 million.

The Labor party has committed to $32 million over 4 years to continue funding the LLEN network of 31 LLENs across Victoria.

“The Labor party funding announcement is particularly welcome after the latest jobless figures showing the unemployment rate for 15-19 year olds is at a 17 year high of 20 per cent,” said Mr Mike Grogan Chair of the LLEN Chair Network.

“This decision by the state Labor party secures the future of the LLENs in Victoria and will enable the LLENs to continue to assist younger Victorians into employment pathways, if Labor is elected at the upcoming state election” said Acting Chair of the State LLEN Network and Chief Executive Officer of Central Ranges LLEN, Mr Boyd Maplestone.

“The LLEN Network is encouraged by this decision and is also seeking support from the current government to commit to the long term future of LLENs”, Mr Maplestone said.

“Our work has proven vital in improving outcomes for young people by increasing education and job opportunities for young people, particularly those at risk of disengaging, or who have already disengaged from education and training and are not in meaningful employment” said Mr Maplestone.

In the last four years, the LLEN network has assisted more than 250,000 young Victorians who were at risk of disengaging, or who had already disengaged from school, training or work.

Every year, we set up and monitor more than 850 partnerships between schools, training organisations, employers and community agencies. Our ongoing work is so important to our communities.

Learn Local Awards – Kyneton Community & Learning Centre nomination

Learn Local logoThe Central Range LLEN is pleased to announce a resident Learn Local, Kyneton Community & Learning Centre’s has been nominated for a State government Learn Local Award under the Creating Local Solutions category, for the Macedon Ranges Training Needs Analysis Project.

This project has been shortlisted to the finalist stage (3 finalists in each category). This is great news and a terrific recognition of the work undertaken, outcomes achieved and contributions of all involved in this partnership project.

The 2014 Victorian Learn Local Award presentations will be held on the evening of Thursday 28 August in St Kilda Town Hall commencing 6.30 pm. The awards will be presented by the Hon. Nick Wakeling MP, Minister for Higher Education and Skills.

See full list of Learn Local Awards 2014 Finalists

Education, vocational and employment pathway options for young people with a disability

The Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network, through its partnership networks, is committed to supporting young people with a disability having access high quality educational, vocational, job skill and employment pathway options.

The National Disability Agreement (2009) represents the peak partnership agreement between the Australian state and territory governments. The ‘Agreement’ establishes the roles and responsibilities of each level of government to achieve agreed objectives and outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers in a coherent and ‘joined up’ manner.

The Victorian response to the National Disability Agreement places a significant emphasis on the principle that every young person with a disability who is able to work should have an opportunity to participate in employment and should be actively supported to do so.  Both parents and teachers share a significant role in helping young people identify their future aspirations and work-readiness skills.

A range of resources and services are available to support the career development of young people with disabilities. These include universal career development resources and those specifically customised for young people with disabilities.

Resources for educators can be found at Strengthening Pathways Planning

Resources for parents can be found at Engaging Parents in Careers Conversations (EPICC)

Resources for students can be found at My Future

The Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network, in partnership with the National Disability Coordinator, bought together and supported planning discussions between career, disability, youth and employment coordinators to establish a ‘Pathways Options’ information workshop for parents and young people.  The result being the delivery of a ‘Transitioning from School’ workshop for students and their parents and carers to be held:

When:                 Wednesday 30th July 2014

Time:                  5:30-7:30pm

Location:           Woodend Neighbourhood House, 47 Forest Street, Woodend

The workshop will focus on options and supports that are available to students with a disability who are transitioning from school, featuring a structured presentation and time with stall holders who can answer specific questions for students, their parents, their support people and carers.

Open to students, parents, carers, educators, carers coordinators, integration aides, youth and disability workers and special education coordinators and all others interested.

Contact:                 Mark Cottee, National Disability Coordinators Officer, Northern Victoria

Email:                     [email protected]

Phone:                    02 6055 6309

Learn Local – new Website

Learn Local logo

The Adult, Community and Further Education Board has recently launched a new website for the Learn Local education and training sector: Learn Local 

The website makes it easy to learn more about eh 316 diverse Learn Local non-for-profit providers that deliver government subsidised training.  It includes a range of features such as learners’ stories, a Learn Local provider search function, news and events and an easy way to browse study options.

Learn Locals help over 110,000 learners each year to upgrade their skills or develop new ones.

The Central Ranges LLEN has developed many partnerships with Learn Locals across Murrindindi (Murrindindi Training Institute), Mitchell (Flexible Learning Options) and Macedon Ranges (Training Needs Analysis and Flexible Learning Options), who are crucial in providing flexible training options for young people and community.

Local Government calls on Premier to sufficiently fund Local Learning and Employment Networks


Local governments across Victoria voted for the Municipal Association of Victoria “to call on the Premier of Victoria to commit sufficient funding for the 31 LLENs across Victoria to secure their programs into the future.”

Mayor, Cr Roger Jukes said that Macedon Ranges Shire Council worked closely with the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network to assist young people in the shire.

“Council has had a long-standing relationship with this network. It has been instrumental in helping us and local schools support young people in our shire into employment and training,” he said.

Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor Margaret Rae said “the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network (CRLLEN) is an established organisation and long term achiever in supporting young people in this region.

CRLLEN provides a critical link between the broader community, industry and young people, which is vital to assisting overall improvements of economic growth for the region and tackling the increasing youth unemployment rate.

LLEN’s are trusted local organisations across Victoria that provide transition and employment outcomes for young people. No other organisations are as uniquely positioned to undertake this work.”

  • LLENs use their knowledge of the region to influence strategic planning and broker partnerships among key stakeholders to support young people to remain engaged, or re-engage, in education or training as well as pathways to employment.  LLENs create and develop sustainable relationships, partnerships and broker initiatives with and across local education providers, industry and community.
  • LLENs make a difference in communities by enabling individuals and organisations to collaborate their ideas and strategies into beneficial partnerships. LLENs create strategic, sustainable partnerships that improve education and transition outcomes for young people, including increasing Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates.
  • LLENs have been in operation for over 13 years across the state, working with young people at risk of disengaging, or who have already disengaged, from education and training and are not in meaningful employment by focusing on increased participation, improving educational attainment and transitional outcomes as well as increasing career aspirations to build a generation of work ready young people.
  • LLENs also facilitate and support a range of initiatives, through partnerships and collaboration with and across stakeholders as well as providing local advice on statewide policy and program issues and serving as an active platform for joining government initiatives with local education and training systems.

Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Chair Doreen Power said “We thank the Councils for their support of the important work we do. Since the last state election the LLEN network across Victoria has assisted approximately 250,000 young people. Every year the LLEN network facilitates over 850 partnerships.

We call on Government to continue ongoing sustainable funding to the LLEN network across Victoria, $13 million annually index linked so we can continue this vital work. For every $1 invested by the State Government an additional $2 is leveraged by LLEN’s in the community.*”

The work of Central Ranges LLEN is fundamental in ensuring that our young people in Victorian regional and rural areas are not left behind and young people are building strong links with educational providers and local employers.

  • CRLLEN facilitated the $11.3 million Trade Training Centre partnership providing industry standard training opportunities to approximately 3,000 young people previously unavailable to local students.
  • CRLLEN facilitated the Lower Hume VET Cluster partnership for the past four years, increasing the Vocational Education and Training in school enrolments by 94% within the three year period 2009 to 2012.
  • CRLLEN facilitated the Murrindindi Training Needs Analysis reports in 2005 and 2013 providing detailed understanding of local industry training needs and trends across the Shire.
  • CRLLEN was a key partner in creating the Murrindindi Training Institute, a local partnership delivering post-school Vocational Training which is industry driven and supported.  This partnership is very important in light of 0% TAFE delivery in Murrindindi Shire, with no post-school TAFE options in the area (DEECD ACFE Data Pack 2011).
  • CRLLEN facilitated the Macedon Ranges Satellite VCAL program (alternative education) ten years ago in 2003, creating a partnership between schools and community organisations. This program has engaged 217 young people in a Senior Secondary Certificate over ten years, who were not engaged in school.
  • CRLLEN facilitated the Macedon Ranges Training Needs Analysis reports in 2014 providing detailed understanding of local industry training needs and trends across the Shire.  This project also included building the capacity of all six Neighbourhood Houses to provide coordinated local industry training opportunities.
  • CRLLEN facilitated a new Flexible Learning Options (alternative education) program at Kyneton Community Learning Centre, in partnership with local schools and community organisations, to engage the most vulnerable young people in community back into education and training and pathway into Satellite VCAL program.  In 2013, 40 young people enrolled in the program.
  • CRLLEN facilitated the Koorie Pathways Program from 2010-2013 engaging over 100 Indigenous students and families in careers, industry and cultural activities raising the aspiration and attainment of local Indigenous students.

For more information on Central Ranges LLEN initiatives look at our recent Annual Report.

*Victorian LLEN Network survey of LLENs (2014).