Release type: Media Release

Date:

New streamlined service in outback NSW to help people get work and strengthen communities

Ministers:

The Hon Julie Collins MP
Minister for Community Services, Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for the Status of Women

More people in remote New South Wales will be helped to get jobs and participate in their communities thanks to the Australian Government’s new $1.5 billion Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP), which starts on 1 July 2013.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Julie Collins today announced that the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation Limited (MPREC) has been chosen to deliver RJCP in the remote regions of Far West NSW and Upper Darling NSW.

MPREC will work with five subcontracted organisations in delivering RJCP across both regions: the Griffith Skills Training Centre, IS Australia, the Australian Community Education College Pty Ltd, the National Association for Loss and Grief and the Orana Education and Training Co-operative Ltd.

“The Australian Government believes that everyone who can work should work and those who are not working should be participating in meaningful activities that contribute to the strength and sustainability of their community,” Ms Collins said.

“But we recognise that in remote areas, job seekers, many of whom are Indigenous Australians, face extra challenges in finding local jobs. We also know that employers in remote locations often have trouble finding skilled workers.

“MPREC will help ensure local people are ready to take up local jobs. They will support individuals who are not working to participate to their capacity in training or activities that will contribute to their communities as well as making them more work-ready.”

Ms Collins said the Australian Government has undertaken a competitive, open and fair process to find suitable RJCP providers across remote Australia.

"We are taking four jobs services functions and putting them into one.

“Under RJCP, job seekers including those on CDEP wages will be able to go to just one provider to get the personalised support they need. And employers will find that their local RJCP provider is able to get to know their needs better, and to help link them up with job seekers who have the skills and drive they are looking for.

“The RJCP provider will also be working closely with communities in their region to set out priorities and goals for participation, training, employment and long-term development.

“The program is based on community and involvement. It will encourage and promote collaborative, community-driven approaches to employment and participation activities.”

Ms Collins said a review of remote employment and participation services in 2011 and subsequent extensive consultations identified what was and wasn’t working in remote communities.

Ms Collins said the Government is committed to minimising disruption for job seekers, communities and employers during the transition period.

Announcements about providers for other parts of Australia will be made in coming weeks.

Information about RJCP is available at www.deewr.gov.au/rjcp.