A review of Indigenous employment programs

A review of Indigenous employment programs Book

  • Author(s): Dockery, Alfred Micheal, Milsom, Nicola
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: National Centre of Vocational Education Research, Australian Government
  • ISBN: ISBN 978 1 921170 19 5 print edition ISBN 978 1 921170 25 6 web edition

Abstract: This report critically reviews evaluations of the major post-1985 labour market assistance measures for Indigenous Australians, with a view to helping shape future policy in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. - In terms of achieving short-term employment outcomes, Australia’s major Indigenous-specific programs appear to have been highly successful. A mix of on-the-job work experience, achieved through wage subsidies or brokered placements, combined with other appropriate support, such as mentoring, offers a successful approach. Involvement of Indigenous people in the provision of assistance can also improve program effectiveness. - However, despite considerable public investment in labour market programs and other forms of assistance for economic development, Indigenous Australians remain significantly worse off on all major measures of economic and social wellbeing, relative to non-Indigenous Australians. - From the 1980s, government policy towards Indigenous economic development, as embodied in the Community Development Employment Projects scheme and the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy, stressed the importance of self-determination and cultural preservation in promoting Indigenous wellbeing. - Indigenous employment policies and programs are products of specific political philosophies, and policy and program objectives are shaped by those philosophies. At evaluation stage, objectives such as self-determination and choice have been ignored or have been replaced by more easily quantifiable objectives, such as increased numbers of Indigenous people in mainstream jobs. Policy-makers need to pay greater attention to how programs are evaluated. - The primary objectives of the main labour market programs now accessed by Indigenous Australians, encompassing the Indigenous Employment Policy and the Job Network, are the achievement of mainstream employment outcomes, and for many Indigenous Australians this is consistent with their own aspirations. Our view is that it is also likely to result in a more rapid pace of social and cultural assimilation.

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Dockery, Alfred Micheal, Milsom, Nicola, 2007, A review of Indigenous employment programs, Book, viewed 30 November 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4534.

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