Release type: Media Release


Indigenous job seekers fill the skills gap in Cairns

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, today announced Australian Government funding for a project that will train up to 100 Indigenous job seekers in Cairns region.

During a visit to Cairns, Mr O’Connor, announced the $935,000 Structured Training and Employment Projects Employment and Related Services (STEP ERS) grant.

Mr O’Connor said the project was developed by Cairns based Job Network provider, Minniecon and Burke and would provide training in hospitality, retail and construction industries.

"This project will see up to 100 indigenous job seekers provided with training and work experience that will help them secure a job," Mr O’Connor said.

"The project provides funding to help Indigenous job seekers secure employment through activities including work-readiness and industry-specific training to prepare them for job placements with local employers."

Mr O’Connor said the STEP ERS program was one of the Government’s Indigenous Employment Programs which aimed to provide Indigenous Australians with the skills needed to find and keep a job.

"While the level of unemployment in Cairns region has fallen by 33 per cent over the past five years, the unemployment rate for non-Indigenous people is four times higher than for non-Indigenous people," he said.

"It’s important that we focus on giving more Indigenous people the right skills that will lead to sustainable employment."