Indigenous Australians in outback South Australia have the chance to become part of the booming mining industry, thanks to the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program.
The Regional Indigenous Training Program at Mount Willoughby Station was launched today, and will offer training and support to 24 Indigenous job seekers from the Coober Pedy region.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib said the project would be a fantastic boost to Indigenous training and employment in South Australia.
“Australia’s resources industry is experiencing a boom, and I am delighted that programs like this are bringing a share of these opportunities to Indigenous communities,” Senator Arbib said.
“The participants will undergo intensive training for eight to 12 weeks, earning a mix of accredited and non-accredited training targeted specifically at the mining industry.
“They will receive nationally-recognised training in operating heavy machinery and work zone traffic management, as well as further training in welding, safe work procedures and general station work.
“These are skills which the jobseekers will have for the rest of their careers and can be used in future job opportunities”
South Australia Senator Annette Hurley said the project had received $435,000 funding from the Indigenous Employment Program, and is being conducted by Xceptional Recruitment.
“Mount Willoughby Station, a pastoral operation 151km north of Coober Pedy, is owned and run by the Antakarinja people,” Ms Hurley said.
“To create this project, a partnership has been struck between Exact Mining and traditional owners, on Indigenous land outside of the usual training locations.
“This will prove to be an important element in providing training that is culturally appropriate, and ensuring participants at all levels are aware of Indigenous traditions and culture.
“I look forward to seeing the achievements of the Indigenous trainees, and I wish them every success on their journey to long-term employment.”
Senator Arbib said the IEP was part of the Australian Government's commitment to close the gap on Indigenous employment.
The Gillard Government has a target of creating more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.
The government has committed more than $750 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program, to assist Indigenous Australians into ongoing, sustainable work.