Youth training program cut

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Albany Green Army Program officially come to an end last Monday as Green Skills congrat-ulated its last eight graduates with a small ceremony.

The Green Army Program was introduced in 2014 to mobilise unemployed youth aged 17 to 24 years to work on conservation projects and receive complementary training and life experience.

The Federal Government cut funding to the national program last December to cover the extra $100 million promised for Landcare.

Federal Member for O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said he was disappointed by the decision to end the program.

“We had plenty of projects in O’Connor that saw young people get a chance to develop new skills and help preserve our natural environment,” he said.

“I had the chance to join in on a few occasions and I was an avid supporter of the program. Having said that, the Government is investing $1 billion in the next phase of our National Landcare Program and we’ve got some new initiatives in the agenda that will be equally beneficial for O’Connor.”

Albany Green Skills manager Anne Sparrow said a number of graduates had received employment around town and some had also decided to go back to study to further their skills.

During the past three years, Albany and Denmark Green Army have successfully trained 81 graduates from across the Great Southern region.

The Great Southern Green Army teams traversed from Frankland River in the west, Bremer Bay in the East and up to Gnowangerup in the north.

The program has planted 115,000 seedlings around the region, re-vegetated 106 hectares of private and public land and assisted 55 community groups and local government events.

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