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Reconnect Program 2021–2024

Reconnect is designed to support Victorians experiencing disadvantage.

The program assists participants to overcome the barriers preventing them from engaging in education, training and employment and provides support into further study or employment pathways.

Who can access Reconnect?

Learners referred to Reconnect must be:

  • young people aged between 17 and 19 years not engaged in education or training for six months or more (less than 8 hours per week)
  • Mature participants aged between 20 and 64 years, unemployed for 6 months or more (less than 8 hours per week) and not engaged in education or training for 6 months or more (less than 8 hours per week)
  • young people (17 to 24 years of age) who have been, or are currently on, Youth Justice Orders
  • Asylum Seekers: A person without citizenship but holds a valid:
    • Bridging Visa Class E (BVE)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV)
    • Temporary Protection Visa (TPV)
    • Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) (subclass 449) visa (449 visa), or
    • Temporary Humanitarian Concern (subclass 786) visa.
  • Out-of-home care: Aged 17 to 64: A person who has a current or previous experience with child protection
  • Other: From time to time, the department may approve the accommodation of additional target groups during the term of the program (for example, this may include groups such as people impacted by bushfires, COVID-19 or retrenched workers etc.).

Support for learners

The Reconnect program is intended to improve a person’s chance of breaking the cycle of disadvantage by creating equity, improving access and increasing choice in pathways through education and employment.

The program is funded to support over 1,600 participants each year by providing wrap-around supports and interventions that aim to address non-vocational barriers that impact on their ability to reach their participation potential. Reconnect providers can offer a range of supports which may include:

  • counselling and mentoring
  • housing and accommodation services referral
  • mental health support referral
  • foundation skills
  • employability skills
  • careers information, planning and advice.

Reconnecting Victorians with educational and employment opportunities

As part of the Reconnect program, Reconnect providers (select TAFEs, Learn Locals and Community Service Organisations):

  • undertake outreach and engagement activities to locate, engage and attract disengaged people experiencing disadvantage back into a learning environment
  • assess the learning and non-learning needs of Reconnect participants and develop an agreed learning plan to transition participants to further training or employment
  • coordinate and provide access to support services that help participants start and stay in training.
  • design and support a pathway out of the program into further training, study or employment.

Outcomes achieved

Reconnecting Victorians with educational and employment opportunities
Outcomes achieved

Reconnect participation since 2016

In total Reconnect 2021 has supported 7,425 participants. Since the program commenced 3,138 participants have transitioned to accredited training.

Participation timeline (by year)

  • 2016: 327
  • 2017: 1678
  • 2018: 4512
  • 2019: 2124
  • 2020: 1139


  • 93% of participants are unemployed or underemployed at point of registration
  • Overall, 71% of participants have been aged 25 years and under
  • 8.5% of participants identify as Aboriginal
  • 70% of participants are female
  • 27% of participants are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • 26% of the program participants identify as having a disability
  • Delivered in Victoria's top 6 disadvantaged local government areas
  • 92% have no previous qualifications.
Download Outcomes achieved

List of providers


The Victorian Government has invested a further $47 million over the next 4 years for the Reconnect Program 2021. Previous funding arrangements saw the Government invest $30 million across the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 financial years, on top of the initial $20 million funding in 2017 and the $14 million Reconnect Engagement and Learner Support (REALS) Grant pilot program, funded in 2016.


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Reviewed 14 September 2023


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