Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Greater employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

Significant reforms to Indigenous employment services have commenced today to ensure more Indigenous Australians have the skills needed to get and keep a job.

The Australian Government will invest an additional $202 million to deliver greater job opportunities for Indigenous Australians through the reformed Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program, Community Support Service and Indigenous Employment Program (IEP).

The reforms are key to making progress on the Government’s target of halving the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

A job contributes strongly to personal, social and economic development and is essential to closing the gap.

The Government has committed more than $750 million over five years for the expanded and reformed IEP.

Under these reforms, services will be more responsive to the specific needs of Indigenous job seekers, Indigenous businesses and employers.

As part of the IEP, 345 organisations have been offered a position on the Employment Panel and 265 organisations have been offered a position on the Economic Development and Business Support Panel.

The new panels allow organisations to be on a pre-qualified list of suppliers to provide quality services and innovative projects to help achieve employment outcomes and business development assistance for Indigenous Australians.

The Employment Panel will help job seekers and employers develop the skills, knowledge and expertise to maximise sustainable employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians and the Economic Development and Business Support Panel will support new Indigenous enterprises.

Under the CDEP reforms 63 organisations will deliver improved work-readiness services, including through up to 3,000 on-the-job work experience placements.

The changes to CDEP will improve job readiness of Indigenous Australians and support community development.

Community development will be boosted, with local priority projects supported, and resources provided for community development workers and local engagement officers.

From today, CDEP will cease in non-remote areas with established economies.

In areas with established economies, Indigenous job seekers will be supported by the expanded IEP and the reformed Job Services Australia.

Under Job Services Australia and the reformed IEP, Indigenous people will have access to personalised participation plans, mentoring services and an expanded range of training and support opportunities.

Up to 2000 jobs are being created from previous CDEP-funded positions in government service delivery, and these will attract benefits, including access to superannuation, training and professional development.

In addition, the Government is creating 400 new traineeships across government service sectors and 60 full-time additional land and sea management positions in remote communities.

These major reforms to employment services will help Indigenous people move into jobs with proper wages and conditions.

As part of these reforms, the Government has approved funding of $37 million over three years to 58 non-profit organisations to deliver the new Indigenous Community Support Service through a network of 84 services reaching 130 communities.

The service providers will connect Indigenous Australians with a range of services, including employment, education, training, caring for families, early childhood, financial management, housing, health and legal services.

Communities to benefit from the new Community Support Service include Dubbo and Narromine, Darwin, Yarrabah and Gordonvale, Murray Bridge and Port Lincoln, Launceston, Mildura and Robinvale, Narrogin and Katanning.

The new Community Support Service will build on the role previously played by Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) providers in linking Indigenous people to services and support in their region.

These reforms will help connect Indigenous Australians to a network of services to overcome social isolation and disadvantage and move towards ongoing employment.

We are determined to ensure Indigenous Australians are work ready and are able to access sustainable employment opportunities.

A full list of successful Employment and Economic Development and Business Support Panels is available.

A full list of successful CDEP providers is available.

A full list of successful Community Support Service providers is available.