An innovative education program based at a former gym in Argyle Place, Millers Point, Regenesis Youth targets local disadvantaged and at-risk youth, in partnership with the City of Sydney's Youth Services unit.

It launched in March, filling a critical demand for alternative educational programs to help young people who fall through the cracks of conventional school programs. Aimed at 15 to 19-year olds. it has two full-time staff - TAFE teachers who each morning deliver a certificate II course, the equivalent of year 10. Students also are taught life skills and given emotional support to address the issues that forced them out of school in the first place.

 

Regenesis Youth took seven enrolments in the first week, including two fifteen year-olds: one had difficulty fitting into the mainstream system but hopes to qualify as a childcare worker, and the other, so severely bullied at his high school that he was forced to leave, aims to design computer games.

''The young people who come in often have pretty negative views about being in a classroom,'' said program manager Peter Tattersall, "It takes a while to build up their confidence, but the 12-month course will improve their options. The goal can be to help get them into a TAFE course or get them back into mainstream education so they can complete year 12,'' he said.

Regenisis Youth, an accredited alternative education provider, endorsed by the Board of Studies and partnered with Petersham TAFE, was established with support from the City of Sydney, TAFE NSW and youth charities Regenesis and the Matana Foundation. The program is expected to grow as more funding is found