More than 1,500 people turned out to attend public consultation meetings across Australia last week as part of the Federal Coalition Government's Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes.
The Review, headed by Mr Andrew Forrest, is inquiring into the employment disparity that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and will provide recommendations on how to better connect unemployed Indigenous Australians with real and sustainable jobs.
Eight Public forums were held across the country from Melbourne to Kununarra engaging community leaders, service providers, training companies, employers and local residents.
Key themes raised in the public forums include the need for training to lead to a job rather than being “training for training” sake, the need for local empowerment, the importance of literacy and numeracy and the need to address perverse welfare incentives.
Mr Forrest said that the time has come to end the disparity.
“There are opportunities to think differently about education, training and employment and I am deeply grateful to all the communities across the country for sharing their views,” Mr Forrest said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Hon Alan Tudge MP, said the consultations showed a real commitment from right across the country to end the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
“There is clearly immense goodwill to do things differently in order to achieve real and lasting change.
“The consultations have raised many ideas, challenges and solutions and the Review Team are now working through those under Mr Forrest’s leadership”, said Mr Tudge.
Last week marked the beginning of the consultations, with further consultations scheduled over the next few weeks and months.
Written submissions are encouraged by the end of the year via the Review’s website www.indigenousjobsandtrainingreview.dpmc.gov.au.
Mr Forrest and the Review Team will report to the Prime Minister in April 2014.
Media Contact: Christabelle Adjoyan 0401 206 201