The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage by giving more students the chance to get traineeships while they are at school.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Mark Arbib, today launched the $50 million Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program at the Qantas Centre of Excellence.
“One of the best ways to ensure young Indigenous Australians make the transition from school to work is to put them on a pathway to a job or further education while they are still at school,” Senator Arbib said.
“This program will support up to 6,400 Indigenous students to undertake school based traineeships over the next four years.”
The Indigenous Youth Careers Pathways Program will provide assistance for trainees, support for employers, workplace mentoring, work experience placements and support and preparation for work activities.
“The program will also support organisations to help students find a job or move into further study,” Senator Arbib said.
The program will operate in schools with large Indigenous populations or those located in low socio-economic areas with viable labour markets.
“While the program will focus on School Based Traineeships and activities to support Year 11 and 12 students, and in some cases Year 10 students, the program will also support aspiration building and support activities for younger Indigenous high school students.
“This will help put these students on a pathway to a school based traineeship, further education or a job.
“This is not training for training’s sake, this is training that leads to jobs.”
Qantas currently offers Indigenous high school students entering Year 11 the opportunity to undertake a School-Based Traineeship. The traineeship allows students to work one day a week at Qantas during school time and full-time hours during the holidays.
Trainees gain practical workplace skills and a nationally accredited qualification – usually a Certificate II in Business Services – as well as a minimum of 100 days’ paid work experience.
“The Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program will allow organisations like Qantas to bid to expand their programs and offer more young Indigenous people the chance to get training and jobs,” Senator Arbib said.
The first intake of School Based Traineeships will begin in the 2012 academic year.
Further details on applications for funding will be available in the near future.
Together, the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program and the Indigenous Employment Program form a commitment of more than $695 million over four years to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Senator Arbib said the IEP was part of the Australian Government's commitment to close the gap on Indigenous employment.
The Australian Government has a target of creating more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.