FEDERAL Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has applauded the Australian Government’s Vocational Training & Employment Centre (VTEC) initiative that will create 200 guaranteed Indigenous jobs in New England and Riverina regions of New South Wales.
Towns in the New England Electorate to benefit from the announcement include Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes, Guyra, Uralla and the Liverpool Plains, Mr Joyce said.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, who announced the new Centre said that VTECs bring an end to the cycle of training for training’s sake.
“The VTEC will be operated by TAFE NSW Western Institute and guarantee jobs for up to 200 Indigenous job seekers who complete job-specific training, in various industries including transport and agriculture,” Minister Scullion said.
Mr Joyce said increasing Indigenous employment is one of the top priorities of the Australian Government.
He said it was important employment programmes are aligned to real jobs because getting Indigenous Australians into ongoing employment is critical to reducing Indigenous disadvantage.
The TAFE NSW Western Institute, based in Orange, has a dedicated Aboriginal Education and Training Unit of 15 staff which will service the Riverina and New England areas. The organisation has been the largest provider of Aboriginal education and training services in Australia since 2009 and has contributed to delivery of the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery programme since 2008.
Mr Joyce said the VTEC initiative is based on strong collaboration between employers, employment and training service providers, participation support services and local Indigenous communities.
“As part of the process of rolling out the VTEC initiative, we have spoken to employers across the country to determine where jobs are located and what industries they are in,” he said.
VTECs are an Australian Government initiative based on the GenerationOne employment model.
The Australian Government has committed up to $45 million for VTECs to place 5,000 Indigenous job seekers into guaranteed jobs across Australia by July 2015.