Sixty-two Indigenous people have started a career in the Australian Public Service this week, commencing employment with various Commonwealth departments and agencies.
Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib today welcomed participants of the inaugural intake of the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program, during their visit to Parliament House.
Established by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the program provides the opportunity for Indigenous Australians to gain accredited training and work experience in the public sector.
It is part of the Government’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous employment by 2018.
Senator Arbib said participants were selected from across Australia, and range in age from 17 to 63 years.
“The Australian Government is committed to increasing employment and educational opportunities for Indigenous Australians,” Senator Arbib said.
“I wish each of the participants success in their training and employment, whether they are based in Canberra or in offices in State capitals.
“While 62 people started orientation and training this week an additional 15 to 20 people will join the program in September.
“Participants will take up positions within the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations or one of nine other Partner Agencies – the Australian Federal Police; Centrelink; Defence; Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Finance and Deregulation; Human Services; Resources Energy and Tourism; Veterans Affairs; and Infrastructure.”
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations established the year-long development program as a component of its Reconciliation Action Plan.
“I am pleased to say that through this program and other Indigenous employment initiatives, the Department has achieved its target of having 330 indigenous staff by 30 June 2010,” Senator Arbib said.
“The department has 349 Indigenous staff, representing six per cent of its workforce – the second highest employer of Indigenous staff in the Australian Public Service.
The participants have also had the chance to meet the 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students who are in Canberra this week for theLearn. Earn. Legend!Work Experience in Government program.
The students spent two days at Parliament House in a Member or Senators’ office and then spent time in a public service agency to see the opportunities available to Indigenous people.
“The students were inspired by the array of career opportunities that exist within Australian politics and the public service and meeting the new participants will give them an idea of possible future career options,” Senator Arbib said.
For more information about the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program please visit www.deewr.gov.au/employment/programs/IAGDP. For further information onLearn. Earn. Legend!visit www.deewr.gov.au/Indigenous.