Release type: Joint Media Release


20 New Indigenous Truck Drivers For Queensland Mines


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

Up to 20 Indigenous job seekers from Mackay have the opportunity to connect to jobs in the mining industry thanks to a new project from the Gillard Government’s Indigenous Employment Program.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas said the STEPS Truck Start Indigenous Employment Program was developed to meet the demand for skilled truck drivers in local and surrounding mines.

“Participants in the project will be supported with four weeks of pre-employment training addressing any barriers to employment they may face,” Senator Arbib said.

“They will receive 10 hours of truck driving lessons allowing them to upgrade to a Heavy Rigid or Medium Rigid truck licence.

“At the conclusion of the project, participants will be individually marketed to potential employers and will continue to be mentored for the first six months of their employment."

Senator McLucas said the ‘STEPS Truck Start Indigenous Employment Program’ was a result of more than $150,000 from the Gillard Government.

“The program has been developed in consultation with local Job Service Australia providers, Skills Training Mackay and local employers and is being managed by Indigenous Employment Provider Steps Disability Inc,” Senator McLucas said.

“Thanks to this partnership we are able to continue to build job and training opportunities in regional and remote Queensland for Indigenous Australians.”

Senator Arbib said Federal Treasury has estimated that 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 opportunities.

“Indigenous employment is not a short-term issue. Over the next four years the Australian Government has committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program and $50 million to the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program,” Senator Arbib said.

“This is part of the Australian Government’s goal to help Indigenous students find a job or move into further study and create more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”