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Supporting sustainable Indigenous employment through group training

28-Mar-2014

Supporting the transition from long-term unemployment into sustainable and rewarding participation in the labour force is an important factor in overcoming the high unemployment rate among Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are up to three times more likely to be unemployed than other Australians, according to national Indigenous employment organisation GenerationOne. Closing this employment gap is essential for meeting future skills needs.

The GenerationOne report, Case Studies of Success, identifies a number of programs that have successfully assisted long-term unemployed Indigenous Australians back into the workforce. This report should help other organisations and businesses modify and enhance their own Indigenous employment processes.

One case study highlighted in the report is a group training organisation (GTO) offering apprenticeships and traineeships in Far North Queensland.

Key learnings from this case study include the value of the GTO model, the influence of the specific social context and the critical role played by families.

The GTO model is especially attractive to small and medium-sized businesses who often want to minimise the administrative burden of taking on an apprentice or trainee. Working with a GTO can streamline the recruitment and training processes and reduce associated risk.

The local social context does influence the approach organisations take to growing Indigenous employment. In this case study, whilst the promotion of employment opportunities was specifically tailored for Indigenous Australians, there wasn’t a need for a discrete “Indigenous employment program”.

Another important factor facilitating a successful transition to sustainable employment outcomes is the proactive inclusion of family and community members as stakeholders in the individual’s journey.