SAVE LIGHTMARE- DON'T LET THESE DISADVANTAGED TEENS BECOME YET ANOTHER COVID TRAGEDY

SAVE LIGHTMARE- DON'T LET THESE DISADVANTAGED TEENS BECOME YET ANOTHER COVID TRAGEDY

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Firstly let me share with you about a brilliant, non-charity based organisation that has employed thousands of Queensland & Victorian teenagers into school based Game Development traineeships over the last decade. This organisation is Lightmare Studios, and it teaches teens valuable skills in video game design and animation, as well as general Information Technology. Typically after 1 year they receive a Cert III in Information Technology or Media, which makes Lightmare a vital non-charity employer of teenagers with unique learning challenges.

 

Recently, the 2019 cohort of trainees have needed to deal with an issue that has made achieving full traineeship completion near impossible, without a formal relaxation of a day requirement. A massive change to this requirement was imposed upon many of this cohort on their sign up day with only two days notice, taking it from 50 to 100 days of work required. Whilst doing their best to adapt or create solutions to make the 100 days requirement achievable, recent issues due to Covid have made this outcome require this formal relaxation. The Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, The Hon. Shannon Fentiman, MP, along with anyone else who has the power or influence to help save Lightmare, is being urged by this petition to give this formal relaxation and save a Queensland institution.

 

With the social challenges our unique teens face every day trying to fit in a society that deems them as different, their employment success is extremely scarce. This is one of the only youth employers that I know of, that not only treats these unique teens exactly the same as every one of their trainees but enables them to excel at and achieve their goals using their uniqueness as an advantage! For these teens, this is not just an income, it’s a new lease on life! Giving them the confidence in knowing they are not alone. Encouraging them to keep going at school, knowing the big world out there has a vast array of 'uniquely different' learners out there, and that they have a chance at greatness!

 

Upwards of one third of all their trainees are either on the spectrum or have another learning challenge. These vulnerable teenagers are at risk of losing their option to participate in their traineeship. This course has proven to keep children in school and move on to university. By taking this away, any spectrum mum would know how devastating this would be for their teens. Even a "normal" teenager would be impacted greatly (given the massive hormonal changes we all had to face during those years).  

 

Not only would it affect their studies, their mental health would (in my opinion) be severely affected. Especially coming after the abrupt changes the whole world, including our own nation, has had to face this year. Despite this, the feedback from Lightmare studios Trainees parents has consistently included "this has given my child a deeper understanding of their purpose in life".

 

This is very close to my heart, my son is on the spectrum and is in year 8. He has known about this course and many times has stated he wanted to start early. To know that this may not be around for him and so many like him in Queensland, I would strongly consider even moving to Victoria for him. This way he would still have access to this course, since the legislation has remained the same and is just fine.

 

I urge you to look deep inside, if you have known someone who learns differently, if you yourself were never understood at school; if your child/nephew/niece/friend or even just because you care about this generation's ability to have access to such a brilliant traineeship. Lightmare hires upwards of 50 of our uniquely awesome children each year, in Queensland alone. Taking this away would be a travesty.

Please pause, take a moment, and sign.

Yours faithfully,

Melissa and Deklan C/O Thousands of teenagers across our nation!