Eleven Indigenous Australians today graduated from an innovative program that prepares them for a career in the NSW Police Force.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib and Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon congratulated the participants at Maitland TAFE who completed the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program.
“For many Indigenous Australians, the chance to train and secure a job with the NSW Police Force may seem out of reach,” Senator Arbib said.
“IPROWD is a pre-recruitment initiative for up to 180 Indigenous Australians who want to join the Police Force. It’s a fantastic partnership between the Gillard Government, the NSW Police Force and TAFE NSW.
“The participants complete a Certificate III in Vocation and Study Pathways ensuring they have the skills and academic qualifications needed for a career in the force.
“This builds on the first Indigenous Police Recruitment Out West program which saw 46 Indigenous Australians participate. Of those, 32 were employed as sworn officers and 14 in other positions such as Aboriginal Community Liaison officers and administrative staff.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said the Australian Government was providing $2.2 million for the initiative through the Indigenous Employment Program to boost the number of Indigenous police officers in NSW.
“The 18 week program acts as a stepping stone and is customised to give Indigenous Australians the confidence, skills and knowledge to study the Associate Degree in Policing Practice at the Goulburn Police College,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“I am confident this will be a success story that helps close the gap on Indigenous employment in New South Wales.”
Senator Arbib said Treasury predicted 500 000 jobs would be created over the next two years and it was critical that Indigenous Australians had the support and training they needed to take up employment.
“Indigenous employment is not a short term issue. Over the next four years the Government has also committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program,” Senator Arbib said.
“This is part of the Gillard Government’s target to create more than 100 000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”