When the ‘Close the Gap’ framework was established in 2008, there were high hopes on closing the employment gap between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians. While the employment gap still remains high, an indigenous employment program continues to make an effort in raising awareness and opening up more opportunities for indigenous Australians to secure and keep employment through education. The Australian population is made up of three percent indigenous people (approximately 761,300), and their average rate of unemployment was at 16 percent, which is higher than that of non-indigenous people. Non-indigenous Australians are also found to be 1.4 times likely to be employed compared to the indigenous.
One of the reasons for the big unemployment gap between those groups is the rate of educational attainment, which also favours the non-indigenous. That said, education is one of the factors that can help improve indigenous employment in Australia. By improving educational achievements, indigenous citizens can have a better outcome in getting and keeping a job. As employment rates increase, they have more freedom to discover and explore opportunities within their nationality and main regions, and attain better livelihood.
Creating educational opportunities must go hand-in-hand with employing aboriginals. However, low-quality living conditions can get in the way of having access to high-quality education. The indigenous employment program aims to involve not-for-profit organisations, indigenous communities, and corporate entities, encouraging all parties to work together to improve education and training opportunities. As education is essential to uplifting communities, educational programs are being designed and customised by specialists to provide maximum knowledge and exposure to indigenous youths in hopes that these can encourage them to open their minds and embrace learning.
Training is another critical aspect that can boost indigenous employment in Australia. This is where vocational training and education come together through comprehensive programs for young indigenous people to obtain skills training and prepare them for the Australian job market. This way, programs for indigenous employment are not merely about sharing knowledge and learnings, but also eliminating the gap between the indigenous community and the corporate world. Providers of indigenous employment programs in Australia are working with job providers to deliver practical and realistic goals to the Aboriginals, while empowering them to seek a positive future and continued acceptance.