PO Box 4046 Springfield, Qld 4300


Indigenous Unemployment
in Australia:

How does education solve unemployment and social issues
in the indigenous communities?

Indigenous employment in Australia

The employment gap between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians remains high despite the establishment of the “Close the Gap” framework in 2008.

Between 2001 and 2006, (Gray, Hunter, & Lohoar, 2012), employment opportunities gap between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians groups still exists;

  • The indigenous people make about 3% of the total Australian population with an estimated number of 761,300.
  • The average rate of unemployment among the indigenous Australians was 16%, way higher than that of the nonindigenous people (Daly, 2018).
  • The gap between the two groups in labour force was 55% and 65% in favour of the nonindigenous Australians.
  • Nonindigenous Australians were 1.4 times more likely to be employed compared to the aboriginal,

Education plays a huge role in enhancing the chances of the aboriginal Australians gaining meaningful employment. According to Bodkin-Andrews et al. (2016);

  • Unemployment gap between the two groups is reflected in the rates of educational attainment that also favours nonindigenous citizens.
  • The improvement in education achievements has yielded better outcomes in the form of improved employment rates
  • With enhanced rates of employment, indigenous Australians are given more freedom to explore opportunities within their main regions and nationally, and the outcome is improved livelihood.

As such, Davis (2016) suggests that creating education opportunities should go alongside employing adult aboriginals, as poor living conditions serve as a barrier to quality education. Additionally, according to Gray et al. (2012), aboriginal students have been shown to have poor education outcomes in tests compared to their nonindigenous counterparts, and this difference comes down to a broad range of factors including health, living conditions and quality of education.

A case in point is that of Sharon Davis. Having grown as an aboriginal, Sharon states that education is critical to the freedom of this population and self-determination. Sharon who is a trained teacher and has been appointed as the Team Leader for Aboriginal Education at Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) states that it was through her professor as an undergraduate student that she learned that reconciliation was central to the attainment of equal status between the two groups in Australia. She observes that education for the aboriginal population should go beyond parenting skills but most importantly to ensure that the indigenous students are uplifted to equal levels as the nonindigenous, and understand their histories, culture and languages. Sharon states that she was lucky to have a nonindigenous that supported her through despite having been brought up in an aboriginal setting. Receiving quality education is what made the difference between herself and the other students from her background. Today she can equally compete in the labour market. More than equality, Sharon indicates that justice is vital for the promotion of social and economic welfare of the aboriginal population in Australia (Davis, 2016).

National data collected from all sources exemplify that the indigenous community in Australia is definitely underprivileged. Even though they are just over 3% of the total population, they have a rich cultural heritage. This is because of the prejudices that they face as a community.

CIS understands its responsibilities and has been one of the leading non-profit organisations in the country to lead from the front with its innovative indigenous employment program. Our aim to get Australian indigenous communities to enter the mainstream job market in Australia through our very own indigenous employment in Australia stems from two basic reasons:

  1. Financial independence, a career of choice and a professional life is the way to elevate and enhance the standard of living of this community.
  2. Financial power translates into an authority – it helps instill confidence in the community that they can also develop and grow like the non-indigenous community of the country.

CIS’s indigenous employment program

Our indigenous employment in Australia program is a three-way handshake between the indigenous communities, corporates entities and the team of CIS. It involves working on two levels –

  1. Education – the essence of education can never be ignored, especially if it is about uplifting a community. Our education programs are tailor-made and designed by specialists from the industry. The programs are designed to offer maximum exposure and knowledge to the indigenous youths facilitating them to step out of the darkness and embrace newer learnings.
  2. Training – Our indigenous employment program is based on these two pillars of education and vocational training. With comprehensive programs, young community members get skill training on different aspects helping them get ready for the Australian job market.

CIS’s indigenous employment in Australia is not only about knowledge sharing and imparting learnings but also about bridging the gap that exists between the corporate world and the indigenous community. We have taken it upon ourselves to help the business world understand the importance of giving this community an opportunity to work with them and contribute meaningfully towards the development of this community.

So, while we prepare the young and employable from the indigenous community to go out, work and realise their dreams, we associate with job providers under our indigenous employment in Australia program. CIS believes in delivering realistic and practical goals to the local community of Australia so that they are empowered, have a positive future to look forward to and get wider acceptance amongst the non-indigenous population of the country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images or names of deceased people.