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Aboriginal employment strategy – a step in the right direction

For a number of years, Aboriginal unemployment has been a focus for state and federal governments. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent are more than 20 per cent less likely to be in employment compared to non-indigenous people.

In response to statistics such as this, the federal government has launched the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy. The document creates a framework for the next three years citing the need to improve employment opportunities, invest in Indigenous employee capabilities, grow Indigenous numbers in senior roles and promote Indigenous culture.

Senator Nigel Scullion explained the importance of closing the gap for the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

“We need to find an extra 188,000 jobs just to reach parity with non-Indigenous Australians – and the government is leading by example by committing to the Indigenous employment target across the Commonwealth,” he said.

One of these targets is to increase the number of Indigenous employees across the public sector by at least 3 per cent by 2018.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Michaelia Cash also stated that the strategy ensures there is a focus on employment moving forward.

“For the first time, the government has set agency-level targets for Indigenous representation,” she said.

“These take account of agencies’ current representation and regional presence, so that each agency has a robust, achievable target.”

What is the value of an apprenticeship or traineeship?

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jobseekers who are looking for a way into the workforce, there are few better options than to start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

As well as receiving quality on-the-job training, there is the potential to learn the skills and concepts of an industry in a controlled environment. This can have a significant impact on your employment opportunities in the future.

According to statistics published in a 2014 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report, more than half (52.1 per cent) of Indigenous apprentices/trainees who were originally unemployed, were able to find employment after completing their training.

In fact, the report suggested that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous apprentices and trainees get personal benefits from finishing some form of apprenticeship. These include greater confidence, new friends, improved communication skills and the opportunity for further study.

If you would like to learn about what apprenticeship roles are available, get in contact with our friendly team today.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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