Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

New streamlined service in Cape York to help people get work and strengthen communities

Ministers:

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

More people in Cape York 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 the providers to deliver RJCP in the regions across the Cape.

The Australian Government will create an extra region, bringing together the Cape York Welfare Reform communities of Aurukun and Coen from their previous regions.

The decision to create the RJCP region of Aurukun-Coen followed the May 2013 announcement of the Government’s continued support for Cape York Welfare Reform.

A consortium led by the Cape York Institute of Policy and Leadership will deliver RJCP in the Aurukun–Coen Region.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said the Government is investing $24.5 million to build on the significant gains made in improving the lives of Aboriginal people in the communities participating in the Cape York Welfare Reform trials. 

“The creation of the new region from the Aurukun and Coen Cape York Welfare Reform communities – with the Cape York Institute of Policy and Leadership consortium as the RJCP provider – will support the alignment of these two significant initiatives with their shared focus on increasing employment and participation,” Ms Macklin said.

Ms Collins said the 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.

“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,” Ms Collins said.

“RJCP providers will support individuals who are not working to participate in training or activities that will contribute to their communities as well as getting them work-ready.”

The Enterprise Management Group Pty Ltd trading as My Pathway will be the provider in the Western Cape and Cook Regions with local partners and has also been selected as the provider for the Central Cape Region.

They will help ensure people in communities like Weipa and Napranum in the west of the Cape across to Lockhart River, Cooktown, Hope Vale and Wujal Wujal are ready to take up local jobs.

Providers have now been announced for all RJCP Regions. The regions cover almost 5.9 million square kilometres, with providers servicing around 33,000 job seekers in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Ms Collins said the new program followed a review of remote employment and participation services as well as extensive consultations to identify what was and wasn’t working in remote communities.

“We are taking four jobs services functions and putting them into one,” Ms Collins said.

“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..

“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 they are looking for.

“RJCP providers 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 will encourage and promote collaborative, community-driven, approaches to employment and participation activities.”

The Government is committed to supporting job seekers, communities and employers during the transition period.

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