More than 4,000 Indigenous Australians are guaranteed jobs through an Australian Government initiative that has seen contracts signed with 17 new Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTECs) across the country, in addition to four VTECs already announced.
Speaking today at the launch of Sydney’s second VTEC in the Redfern Town Hall, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said the VTEC model brought an end to the cycle of training for training’s sake.
Minister Scullion said the Sydney VTEC, to be run by Aboriginal owned and operated organisation Yarn’n, would provide guaranteed health-sector related jobs such as nursing assistants, ward assistants and ward orderlies for up to 200 Indigenous people.
“The Australian Government has committed up to $45 million for VTECs and the initiative is well on the way to meeting the target of placing 5,000 Indigenous Australians into guaranteed jobs across Australia before July 2015,” Minister Scullion said.
“It’s vital that training and employment programmes are aligned to real jobs because getting Indigenous Australians into ongoing employment is critical to reducing Indigenous disadvantage.
“The VTEC model is based on strong collaboration between employers, employment and training service providers, participation support services and local Indigenous communities.
“We’ve spoken to employers across the country to determine where jobs are and the VTECs will provide guaranteed jobs in various industries including hospitality, mining, construction, tourism, health, transport and agriculture.”
VTECs are an Australian Government initiative based on the GenerationOne employment model. GenerationOne manages the Australian Employment Covenant, an industry-led initiative that has established more than 60,000 job pledges for Indigenous Australians from Australian companies.
“Increasing Indigenous employment is one of the three key priorities of the Australian Government and I congratulate GenerationOne on its enthusiastic involvement in this critical area,” Minister Scullion said.
“Yarn’n works with employers to achieve strong employment retention outcomes for Aboriginal people by focusing on the benefits to business and providing recruitment and career support services.
“Over the past two-and-a-half years under contracts with the Indigenous Employment Programme, Yarn’n has placed 480 job seekers into employment.”
GenerationOne National Development Director, Jeremy Donovan, said VTECs were driven by a demand-led employment model that was the future of Australian Indigenous vocational training and employment.
“VTECs provide a guaranteed job and focus on the retention of that job. A job seeker who retains employment beyond 26 weeks of starting is far less likely to fall back into unemployment and, if they do, will spend much less time unemployed before returning to work,” Mr Donovan said.
“Having had some of my own family members supported by the services of Yarn’n, I know the level of engagement and genuine care they have for the community members. For this reason I am delighted that they will operate as a recognised VTEC.
“Aunty Fay and Deb Nelson have dedicated their life to seeing our Mob become empowered through meaningful employment.”
Managing Director of Yarn’n, Deb Nelson, said the team at Yarn’n was excited about becoming a VTEC.
“As an Aboriginal organisation with 80 per cent Aboriginal staff, the VTEC focus on real jobs and sustainable outcomes is everyday practice for the Yarn’n team,” Ms Nelson said.
“Over the last few years, our work, particularly that in the health sector has demonstrated the substantial pool of Aboriginal talent which until now has not been readily tapped. This isn’t because employers aren’t trying, they are.
“What’s needed to bridge the gap between real jobs and Aboriginal candidates is a comprehensive suite of assistance, which is the VTEC.
“By helping candidates to recognise their skills, talents and potential, they are better able to see the direct relationship between their talents and potential jobs. The employers we work with have good business practices which make it easy for them to introduce good-practice Aboriginal human resource initiatives.
“We look forward to the VTEC making a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal people and families across Sydney.”
VTECs will be located in Sydney, the Hunter region, South Coast NSW, Brisbane, north and central Queensland, Perth, Darwin, Melbourne, Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs, the Barkley region of the Northern Territory, the Kimberley and Adelaide.
Download media release: