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New funding for Indigenous employment

Between the first and 26th of September, community groups and registered training organisations will be able to apply for funding of up to $400,000 for helping individuals study towards a qualification.

In total, the Queensland Government has allocated $6 million that can be accessed through this funding round and a second round later in the year. The funding is targeted for priority skill areas which are experiencing a shortage of talented labour, while also boosting Indigenous employment.

Trainee and apprenticeship certificates are also being under the spotlight in this new initiative. The extra financing is aimed specifically at individuals who want to achieve certificates at level III and above. Lower level programs and foundation skills may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To access the funding, community organisations need to demonstrate their initiatives have a high degree of certainty and will offer long-term opportunities for those who take part. The state government has a set criteria which organisations must meet, along with demonstrating a successful track record of providing training options for Indigenous Australians.

This announcement is just the first part of a four-year strategy to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders in Queensland. The overall strategy aims to grow Indigenous participation rates in education and remove barriers that might be preventing individuals from accessing training.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek suggested this new funding would unlock a new source of support for organisations working in this area.

“[The Indigenous Training Strategy] funds organisations to deliver regional and community-based training projects which can help achieve meaningful and long-term employment and training outcomes for Indigenous participants,” said Mr Langbroek.

“It complements the Department’s main VET investment programs – the Certificate 3 Guarantee, User Choice and the Higher Level Skills program.”

This new programme is just one of the mechanisms that aim to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Employers can also access a wage subsidy to support indigenous workers. Subject to certain conditions, companies can access up to $6,600 in assistance across 26 weeks of a full-time position, or half that for a part-time worker.

With this new level of support for community organisations joining these established programmes, it is easier than ever to offer training opportunities to new Indigenous workers.

By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator

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