Fifteen Indigenous Australians will help to rebuild the cyclone-affected Tully region while they also train for careers in the construction industry.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas said the trainees would receive accredited training in specific roofing competencies.
Trained roofing workers are in high demand as the rebuilding of the region after Cyclone Yasi gathers momentum.
“Thanks to their training the participants will be able to focus on getting a job through an apprenticeship or traineeship,” Senator Arbib said.
“As part of their training the participants are also provided with mentoring and additional training and support in areas of numeracy, literacy and life skills. Once their training is complete, they are supported with dedicated assistance to secure a job.
“This project provides valuable skills, increases job prospects and importantly contributes to rebuilding the Tully region after the cyclone.”
Senator McLucas said the project received $225 000 in funding through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program and was run with the assistance of Venture Pty Ltd.
“This program is improving employment and training prospects in industries such as construction in Far North Queensland. It will not only benefit Indigenous job seekers but the community as a whole,” Senator McLucas said.
“It has been a tough time for the Cassowary Coast following Cyclone Yasi, so it is good to see these trainees on the ground supporting the rebuilding effort.”
The project also complements the Australian Government’s recent $228 million announcement under the Building Australia’s Future Workforce, which provides subsidies and support for long-term unemployed Indigenous job seekers.
Senator Arbib said Treasury predicted 500 000 jobs would be created over the next two years and it was critical that Indigenous Australians had the support and training they needed to take up employment.
“Indigenous employment is not a short term issue. Over the next four years the Government has also committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program,” Senator Arbib said.
“This is part of the Gillard Government’s target to create more than 100 000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”