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Study and training improve employment opportunities

Study and training improve employment opportunities

Access to education and training can improve Indigenous employment opportunities.

Participation in education and training can help improve employment opportunities for disadvantaged Australians, according to a study from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Living in remote areas, having a disability or being of Indigenous descent are all common contributors to poor labour force participation and social outcomes.

However, the research from NCVER shows that tertiary education, apprenticeships or training can help Australians overcome these disadvantages.

This research highlights importance of supporting opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland.

Working with the University of Melbourne, Curtin University and Monash University, NCVER has released three independent surveys and research projects that will be investigated in detail at a one-day national research forum.

The ‘Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training’ forum will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 3 2014.

Indigenous employment participation is just one area identified by the NCVER studies as an area that can benefit from significant improvement through training and education efforts.

This recent information supports previous studies on this subject. The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) released a similar discussion paper in 1996.

The CAEPR research found that completing school to year 10 or 11 increased the chance of finding employment by 40 per cent.

Additionally, leaving school after year 12 improved the chance of being employed by 12.9 per cent.

Similar increases were found to be influenced by whether the studied individuals had completed vocational education or apprenticeships.

Indigenous males who had undertaken a training course were 9.4 per cent more likely to be employed than their uneducated counterparts. For females, the chances increased by 11.1 per cent.

In 2012, the Australian government produced the Closing the Gap summary, which identified the difference in labour force participation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

While Indigenous employment opportunities grew between 1994 and 2008, there is still a significant gap in participation rates.

Additionally, the NCVER research, coupled with figures collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has identified Indigenous Australians often rely on friends and relatives to find employment.

Approximately 71 per cent of unemployed Indigenous job seekers relied on family and friends when looking for employment, compared to 47 per cent of other unemployed Australians.

This is another area where apprenticeships in Queensland may be able to support Indigenous job seekers, by widening their access to the employment market and providing insight into working opportunities.

By Leanne Detoerkenczy

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