Indigenous employment has been significantly boosted by a recent jobs exhibition in Queensland.
This is according to Julie Collins, federal minister for Indigenous employment and economic development, who described attendee numbers as encouraging.
Around 16,600 young job seekers went to the Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Indigenous employment and careers expos throughout 2012, with 366 exhibitors.
FOGS is a not-for-profit organisation that helps rugby league, charities and communities – focusing primarily on Indigenous employment options.
It currently has 174 players who are members and have represented Queensland in State of Origin.
The events took place at seven locations across the state, prioritising areas where the number of people without jobs is high.
“To date more than 1,000 of the 16,600 Indigenous school leavers and job seekers who attended have gained or are in the process of gaining employment or training positions,” Ms Collins explained.
She commented that the expos are now finished for the year, but confirmed they would return in 2013 with continued funding from the Australian government.
The Commonwealth has committed $2.4 million to FOGS between 2012-13, covering 21 events including the expos, corporate events and employment forums.
In 2012, the expos took place in Townsville, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Rockhampton, Brisbane and Toowoomba between March and October.