Abstract: Issues of education, training, welfare and economic engagement of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been a significant concern for some time and have been part of past and present governments’ ongoing ‘Closing the Gap’ agenda. While the issue of training for jobs is an ‘old chestnut’, it is worthwhile revisiting what the evidence tells us about the links between education, training and employment, particularly for those living in very remote Australia. This paper draws on 2011 Census data about very remote Australia. It compares the qualifications of three cohorts of the population: non-Indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who speak English at home, and those who speak their own language. It is sometimes suggested that ‘real’ jobs are available to those who achieve a Certificate III. What the analysis shows is that many jobs in very remote Australia are taken by people who have no post-school qualifications and that training is not always a good predictor of economic participation. The authors propose that the implications of this analysis have consequences for VET policy and practice as it applies to very remote communities where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders live. They suggest that aside from other considerations, in these contexts training and employment needs to be more connected to the cultural norms and values of people—particularly those who speak an Indigenous language.
Eva McRae-Williams, John Guenther, 2014, Does education and training for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lead to ‘real’ jobs? Evidence from the 2011 Census., Conference Paper, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2933.