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Indigenous Australians to play key workforce role

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Media Release GG 47/11 27 September 2011

Indigenous Australians to play key workforce role

Indigenous Australians will play an increasingly important role in the Australian workforce, the Special Minister of State Gary Gray said today.

With employers being more aware of the value to their business of employing Indigenous Australians and implementing strategies to attract and retain Indigenous employees, Mr Gray urged all employers to follow suit.

“It is critical that Indigenous Australians have the support and training they need to take up their share of the jobs being created over the coming decades,” Mr Gray said.

“About 56 per cent of the Indigenous population is under 25, so it is important that employers and public sector agencies provide training opportunities now and ensure there is a strong transition from school to work so that we see the benefits in the coming years.”

In Adelaide to address the national Australian Public Service Indigenous Employees Conference, which is supported by 40 Federal Government agencies, Mr Gray called on all employers to review their employment practices with a view to providing more Indigenous work opportunities.

He said a solid foundation had been laid in recent years.

The Pathways Program has delivered over 660 jobs for trainees, cadets and graduates since 2005, with further outcomes currently being finalised. In 2010 the Indigenous Australian Government Diploma Program provided employment to a further 71 Indigenous APS employees. “You can see some real progress, but we know to close the employment gap an extra 100,000 indigenous Australians need to be in employment by 2018.

“The Australian Public Service has a significant role to play in helping us reach this target.

“The Government knows that we can’t ask employers to create opportunities for Indigenous people unless we are doing it ourselves.”

Mr Gray said there were more than 80,300 placements into employment of Indigenous Australians through Job Services Australia in the two years up to June 2011.

The Indigenous Employment Program had exceeded its 2010-11 target by 14 per cent, with 31,000 commencements in jobs and training.

Media Contact: Website:

John Arthur - 0408 991 261

Last Updated: 27 September, 2011

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