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Helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders find long term employment

13-Jan-2014 Under the Australian Governments Indigenous Employment Program we continue to support employers in providing apprenticeship and trainee opportunities for Indigenous Australians, and encourage Indigenous Australians to take up these opportunities.

Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need in order to find and sustain gainful employment is vital to achieving parity in Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment rates.

On November 20, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released new labour force data which revealed that the unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is currently 17.2 per cent. In comparison, the ABS estimates that the unemployment rate for non-indigenous Australians is just 5.5 per cent. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also have a significantly higher percentage of individuals not in the labour force (44.1 per cent compared to 23.6 per cent for non-indigenous people).

According to the ABS, the answer to solving this problem lies in ensuring that more indigenous Australians get access to good educational qualifications that improve their employability.

"The unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Year 12, Certificate level II or above was less than half that of those without these qualifications," explained ABS Director of Social and Progress Reporting Fiona Dowsley.

Results such as these highlight the importance of education - be it in school or through vocational training - and reinforce the valuable work that Group Training is doing in this area.

Businesses looking to do their part to help more indigenous Australians into work may want to consider getting in touch with a Group Training Organisation (GTO) in order to express their interest in taking on an apprentice or trainee in 2014.