The Coalition Government is investing $13.46 million in CareerTrackers’ interns to support more Indigenous students to complete university, move into employment and reach their full potential.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, announced the new investment at a celebration in Brisbane today with CareerTrackers founder and CEO, Michael Combs, and Aurizon Managing Director and CEO, Andrew Harding.
“Higher education is as close to a silver bullet as we have in Indigenous Affairs. As the Prime Minister said in his Closing the Gap speech earlier this year, there is no employment gap between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians with a university degree,” Minister Scullion said.
“CareerTrackers provides students with ongoing academic support and tailored pre-employment training. During each year of university, students are connected with corporate Australia for 12-week paid internships.
“They work closely with Indigenous students to connect them with companies that align with their professional interests, providing both students and employers with the skills, tools and support needed to succeed.
“This programme has been remarkably successful – almost 95 per cent of CareerTrackers’ participants complete their university studies, compared with 63 per cent for Australian students in general and 40 per cent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“That is why the Coalition Government is investing $13 million to 31 December 2020 which will allow up to 275 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students in the CareerTrackers programme to meet study-related costs and living expenses throughout the academic year.”
Mr Combs said the cadetships CareerTrackers would be providing as a result of the Government’s investment would be a key to the success of the students participating in the Indigenous Internship Programme.
“This partnership with Government provides long-term certainty for our students and will play an important role in their success at university and in the workplace,” Mr Combs said.
Minister Scullion said this investment also demonstrated how the Coalition Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy was cutting red tape for organisations and allowing them to focus on outcomes.
“CareerTrackers’ interns previously had more than 280 individual agreements with my department. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy has allowed us to slash the red tape for CareerTrackers and the organisation will now have a single contract, allowing it to focus on what it does best – getting Indigenous students through university and into work,” Minister Scullion said.