Former State of Origin greats are teaming up with the Rudd Government to tackle Indigenous unemployment head on through an employment and careers expo in Mt Isa tomorrow.
Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib said the event was one of seven FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expos being held across Queensland this year.
FOGS attending the Mt Isa Expo at the Xstrata Exhibition and Convention Centre include Chris Close, Gary Belcher, Greg Conescu, Steve Walters, Colin Scott, Artie Beetson, Gene Miles and Sam Backo.
“The return of the FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expo to Mount Isa is a result of the local support the event received in 2009,” Senator Arbib said.
“Last year more than 500 Indigenous job seekers and school leavers from Mount Isa and surrounding areas came to the event, and I hope we’ll see many more attend this year.
“These FOGS are legends and use their status to capture the attention of students, employers and job seekers to promote Indigenous employment.
“The expos will give Indigenous job seekers and school students the opportunity to meet employers and discuss employment and training opportunities in their local area.
“The careers expos build on the work of the Rudd Government to protect jobs during global recession.”
The FOGS employment and careers expos combine with the government’sLearn. Earn. Legend!initiative to support young Indigenous Australians.
“The Government’s goal, throughLearn. Earn. Legend!, is to encourage young Indigenous Australians to have a go, stay at school and ensure a pathway to employment,” Senator Arbib said.
“We know that the best thing all kids can do is get a good education, because the more education you have, whether that be finishing year 12, completing a TAFE qualification, an apprenticeship or a tertiary qualification, the more likely you are to get a good job.
“Mt Isa’s own Scott Prince is ourLearn. Earn. Legend!Ambassador and is a great role-model for young people.”
Following the success of the 2009 Former Origin Greats (FOGS) expos the Australian Government has committed $2.8 million to the FOGS Employment and Career expos.
This funding will support 39 expos and corporate events in 2010 and 2011, promoting and supporting employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“Indigenous unemployment is currently three times that of the rest of the community and the Government along with the Former Origin Greats is determined to address that problem,” Senator Arbib said.
“The Australian Government is committed to working with employers to tackle the barriers to employment head on with a range of initiatives to close the gap in Indigenous employment and I’m pleased to see Mt Isa is at the forefront.”
FOGS is a not-for-profit organisation comprising 167 former league players who represented Queensland in State of Origin football. The former players use their sporting achievements to encourage Indigenous students to achieve their potential.
For more information about the expo visit www.fogs.com.au