Indigenous employment levels could be on the rise, with recent data showing educational performance among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is steadily improving.
Federal minister for school education Peter Garrett said the Schools, Australia 2012 report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the number of Indigenous students staying on to Year 12 is increasing – an indication that government policies to enhance engagement are working.
“I’m extremely proud of the work the Gillard government is doing to close the gap in Indigenous education and now, for the first time, we’re seeing more than 50 per cent of students staying in school and finishing Year 12,” Mr Garrett remarked.
“We are investing in programs across the country that are improving the education, and consequently the future prospects, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.”
Student retention rates from Years 7 to Year 12 between 2011 and 2012 jumped from 48.7 per cent to 51.1 per cent – the first time it has ever surpassed the 50 per cent mark.
The minister said the Commonwealth has invested $128.6 million into delivering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan across the country, with the latest figures showing the government’s commitment is having an impact.