The Coalition Government is investing $6.3 million in the National Rugby League’s (NRL) successful School to Work programme to support 500 Indigenous students a year to complete their studies and find jobs.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and NRL Chief Executive Officer, Todd Greenberg, announced the initiative in Brisbane today, saying the investment built on the NRL’s strong track record of supporting First Australians into work.
The NRL School to Work programme works with Indigenous students in Years 11 and 12 to help them identify their career goals, complete high school and then transition into employment or further studies needed to help them achieve their ambitions.
This funding allows for the continuation of the programme from 1 July 2017 to 31 March 2020 and expands it from assisting 250 students to 500 students each year. The programme will operate in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria.
“The National Rugby League is a leader in supporting the aspirations of First Australians – on and off the footy field,” Minister Scullion said.
“The School to Work programme utilises the positive profile of the NRL to encourage Indigenous students from Years 10 to 12 stay at school, finish their HSC, and guide them into further education and training, and ultimately into jobs.
“This investment supports the Coalition Government’s efforts to Close the Gap in education and employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and our commitment to creating more opportunities for hardworking Australians to find jobs.”
Mr Greenberg said the NRL was proud to work in partnership with the Commonwealth Government and use the league’s loud voice and unique connection with Indigenous communities to deliver positive social change.
“The NRL has the power to deliver change and there is no better example than the international award-winning School to Work programme,” he said.
“School to Work has been operating for five years and we have a 98 per cent success rate of participants that finish high school transitioning into employment or further education. The results are outstanding.
“This funding will allow us to continue to deliver and grow the programme in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria.
“The NRL and Commonwealth Government have a proud history of working together on initiatives that support Indigenous communities – whether it be the launch of NRL Cowboys House in Townsville, the Commonwealth Government’s support of All Stars week or the NRL School to Work programme. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion and the Government.”