Abstract: Economic participation is one of the fundamental building blocks identified in the Closing the Gap initiative (COAG 2008) for reducing disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians. This is because work provides economic, social and psychological benefits for individuals and societies. The government is committed to halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians by 2018; it is one of the key targets of its Closing the Gap Strategy. The definition for economic participation used in the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (COAG 2012) covers all aspects of economic activity, including participation in employment, engagement in entrepreneurial and commercial activities and access to native land assets and rights. This paper concentrates on economic activity that is directly related to the outcomes of participation in education and training, particularly employment. The most important aspect of the economic disparity between Indigenous Australians and the wider Australian population is the relatively small number of Indigenous Australians in employment. While there are many elements to this disparity (as will be noted later in the paper), a likely key contributor is the level of educational disadvantage among the Indigenous population. We use the 2011 Census data to quantify its importance for labour market participation, employment and occupational destinations.
Tom Karmel, Josie Misko, Davinia Blomberg, Alice Bednarz, Georgina Atkinson, 2014, Improving labour market outcomes through education and training, Volume:Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Report, viewed 02 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2929.