Release type: Media Release


Indigenous jobseekers trained for retail careers


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

The Gillard Government has provided training for 40 Indigenous jobseekers who are ready to take on jobs in the retail sector following their graduation from the Retail Skills Indigenous Employment Program in Sydney today.

The graduates received a Certificate II in Retail and an Aussie Host Customer Service Skills Certificate, a qualification delivered by the Australian Retail Association.

Hosted by Jobfind Centres Australia, the $658,000 program was funded through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program (IEP).

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib congratulated the participants on their achievements.

“I am delighted so many Indigenous Australians have graduated from this traineeship program, and I commend them for their dedication, commitment and hard work,” Senator Arbib said.

“This program was specifically designed to increase the take up of careers in the retail industry by Indigenous people, using industry specific training and work experience placements with retail giants such as Bunnings, K Mart, Myer and Target.

“When it comes to long-term sustainable employment, proper training is absolutely essential and forms the foundation of a career.

“By completing this training, the participants have proven they have what it takes to build a successful career in retail. I’m pleased to hear that three trainees have already accepted job offers in retail.

“All the participants will also continue their training during their employment, as they complete a Certificate III in Retail.”

Michael Hughes, Executive Director at Jobfind, also congratulated the program’s planners and participants on their positive outcomes.

“This only marks the first step on the road to long-term employability for this dedicated group of job ready candidates,” Mr Hughes said.

“Jobfind not only gives Indigenous jobseekers the assistance they need, but we also offer post placement mentoring, support services and other assistance to help employers retain their Indigenous staff in the long term.”

“The Australian Government is proud to work in partnership with organisations as Jobfind and the Australian Retailers Association to create job opportunities for Indigenous people in the retail industry,” Senator Arbib said.

“Projects like this are an excellent example of the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.”

The Indigenous Employment Program is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

The government has committed more than $750 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program, to assist Indigenous Australians into ongoing, sustainable work.