Indigenous Job Opportunities Following Agreement Expansion
8 July 2013 at 11:15 am
Indigenous Australian job seekers will receive increased employment opportunities under a renewed and expanded National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation.
The Federal Government says it will expand its Indigenous Opportunities Policy to cover all Commonwealth procurement processes above $5 million (and $6 million for construction) regardless of location.
The policy previously only applied in areas where the proportion of Indigenous people in an Indigenous area was higher than the (2006) national average of 2.5 per cent.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Julie Collins said the agreement will create new opportunity for Indigenous businesses to leverage off the purchasing power of Government.
“The current Agreement has helped boost employment opportunities for Indigenous people, including the creation of 1500 jobs in government service delivery,” she said.
“This progress is really encouraging, but we know much more needs to be done to reach our target of halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2018.
“Creating more local jobs and better economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians is a key priority for the Australian Government and fundamental to Closing the Gap.”
Under the new Agreement, from 1 July 2014, Public sector Indigenous employment targets of 2.6%, currently due to expire in 2015, will be extended in the new Agreement to ensure Indigenous Australians have greater access to local jobs.
The Australian Government will also require Indigenous workforce development strategies and targets as part of future major funding agreements with the states and territories for Indigenous programs and services.
Collins said the Government had written to all State and Territory Governments urging them commit to the new National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation.
“The new partnership will build on the achievements of the current Agreement on Indigenous Economic Participation,” she said.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said the agreement would strengthen government procurement policies to help boost Indigenous employment and business opportunities.