The Australian Government has begun the process of selecting providers for the new $1.5 billion Remote Jobs and Communities Program to deliver a more integrated and flexible approach to employment and participation services in remote Australia.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Julie Collins, today called for expressions of interest from service providers to deliver the program when it begins on 1 July next year.
“The new program will deliver better training and support to get local people into jobs and ensure people who are not working are participating in activities that contribute to developing strong and sustainable communities,” Ms Collins said.
“A single service provider will now have a continuing presence in each of 59 identified remote regions around Australia.
“The Government held around 90 information and consultation sessions in remote Australia earlier this year and is responding to the feedback from individuals, organisations and communities.
“The expression of interest period will be longer than usual to give all interested organisations the opportunity to participate.”
“They are welcome to do this as individual providers or in partnership with other organisations,” Ms Collins said.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said the Remote Jobs and Communities program brings together Job Services Australia, Disability Employment Services, Community Development Employment Projects and the Indigenous Employment Program in remote Australia into a single stream of service delivery.
“Through this program the Government aims to assist job seekers, many of them Indigenous Australians, in regions covering an area of nearly 5.9 million square kilometres.”
“People in remote areas have made it clear they want one employment services provider in their communities to deliver the long-term employment and training solutions they need.”
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the EOI was designed to give small, local organisations the best opportunity to participate.
“We want to see as many local Indigenous organisations delivering the new program as possible. That is why we have committed $15 million to help build the capacity of potential providers.”
“We have also made it a requirement of the selection process, that applicants demonstrate their connection to communities in the regions, as well as their capacity to deliver the services required,” Ms Macklin said.
“A series of information sessions for potential providers are being held in all remote regions, providing important information on funding and how to respond to the EOI.
“During these sessions potential providers will be able to access expert advice to help them be part of this process as part of our $15 million commitment to building the capacity of potential providers,” Ms Macklin said.
The Australian Government is investing $1.5 billion in the program over five years.
Expressions of interest for delivery of the RJCP open today and will remain open until 14 November 2012.
Organisations considering becoming a provider need to register with AusTender. Documentation is available at www.tenders.gov.au.
Anyone wanting to attend the information sessions should contact the DEEWR Employment Services Purchasing Hotline on 1300 733 514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest.