Positive signals in report: Council

Tara Murray

A new report will help the Brimbank council find ways to further improve education and health outcomes for children and young people in the borough.

The report by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University in conjunction with the Brimbank Council, ‘Children, Young People and Health in Brimbank’, looks at the change in health and education outcomes in the region over the 10 years to 2016.

The report found that Brimbank had seen a large increase in the number of young people earning or learning, with 84.1 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 studying or working, up from 72.3 percent in the past 10 years.

There is also a dramatic decrease in the number of children born to mothers with a low level of education. Both are indicators of children who are at greater risk of low educational and life opportunities.

Brimbank Mayor Jasmine Nguyen said the council was pleased to see the improved educational outcomes highlighted in the report.

“Education is one of the City Council’s priorities, it is the key to young people finding good jobs and opportunities for a better future.

“In addition, supporting social and economic inclusion has been identified as a priority in the council’s key strategic document, Together We are Brimbank 2021-2025.”

While the report showed some positive signs, Cr Nyugen said it did not show the impact of the past two years and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite promising results, the report fails to capture the impact COVID-19 has had on youth earning and learning, making the need for youth programs and support more important than ever.

“Programs delivered by Brimbank Learning Futures, youth services and community centers are informed by local youth and respond to the current challenges they face.”

The report said there were still problems in Brimbank. Throughout the study period, the statistics for women smoking during pregnancy, youth unemployment, type 2 diabetes and the loss of players on electronic slot machines kept getting worse.

The report was created as part of the Growing Brimbank partnership with Victoria University.

The council uses data and evidence accessible through the partnership to inform services and pilot programs, as well as work with the community to understand the health issues affecting people in Brimbank.

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