RAA is making it easier for South Aussie students to get their driver’s licence and gain employment by offering free driving lessons at selected schools.
The Licence to Work program aims to help reduce South Australia’s youth unemployment rate of 12.6 per cent, which is more than double the state average of 5 per cent. Recent ABS data also indicates there is a significant gap (31 percentage points) in the overall employment rates of First Nations South Australians and non-First Nations South Australians, leading RAA to trial a program focused on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Following the success of similar RAA programs, in 2022 Licence to Work is being offered at Warriappendi School, Tjindu Foundation, Findon High School and Seaton High School, as part of RAA’s commitment to reconciliation and improving the lives of all South Australians.
RAA General Manager of Community and Corporate Affairs, Emily Perry, said the Licence to Work program would help young people gain their P-licence with access to more than 1,600 hours of free professional driving lessons this year.
“Many employers need staff to be mobile and have a driver’s licence, especially in the trade and hospitality where many young people begin their careers,” Ms Perry said.
“Having a driving licence is like having a passport to work for many young people.
“Licence to Work helps young First Nations students who might not have access to a vehicle or licence holder to get that crucial time behind the wheel The program helps overcome these hurdles so that young people can become more independent and enhance their employment prospects.
“Initiatives like the Licence to Work program help improve access to professional driver training for Aboriginal people, and help close the gap in licensing outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal South Australians,’’ she said.
Seaton High School student Millie Badcock is a learner driver who can’t wait to get her Provisional Licence.
“It’s hard for me to access a car and a supervisor driver so these lessons will definitely help me to get my licence a lot quicker,’’ the 16 year old said.
“Having my p-plates will help me get to Henley High where I’m doing a childcare course, and then whichever childcare centre I hopefully end up working.’’