Rob Williams

Learn to drive project for needy

DISADVANTAGED Ipswich youths will have the chance to learn to drive through a joint venture of Ipswich council and five private companies.

The free pilot Driver Education program will give youths between the ages of 17 and 25 who find it difficult to log 100 hours of driving experience a chance to qualify for their driver's licence.

The pilot program is a joint venture between Ipswich City Council, Major Training, Hyundai, Ross Llewellyn Motors, Westpac and Salvation Army Employment Plus.

Three cars have been donated to the program by Hyundai Australia, while Major Training and the Salvation Army Employment Plus will be training and providing driving instructors for the students.

The pilot will be run from Ross Llewellyn Motors Hyundai in Booval.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the project was designed to help the young members of the community who needed it most.

"This is more than just a training program," he said.

"This is a chance to help our disadvantaged youth access something that a lot of people take for granted."

Cr Pisasale said getting a licence could be the key to future employment, but the cost of lessons and the time needed often prevented young people from gaining employment.

Cr Pisasale said the program would help local disadvantaged youth.

"What makes a community great is how much we care about those worse off than us. And this is giving a helping hand.

"It's what makes Ipswich different to everywhere else in Australia."

All on-roads costs and maintenance of the three cars during the first 12 months will be covered by Hyundai Australia.

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