The CDEP scheme: a flexible and innovative employment and community development program for Indigenous Australians

The CDEP scheme: a flexible and innovative employment and community development program for Indigenous Australians Conference Proceedings

International Social Policy Conference: Transitions and Risk: New Directions in Social Policy

  • Author(s): Altman, Jon, Gray, Matthew
  • Secondary Author(s): Considine, M, Howe, B, Rosewarne, L
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: University of Melbourne, Centre for Public Policy

Abstract: The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme is an unusual program for Indigenous people primarily underwritten by welfare entitlements. Currently there are 39,000 CDEP places and around 60,000 Indigenous people participate in the scheme each year. This paper discusses the roles that the scheme plays. First, the scheme provides flexible employment opportunities, often in remote contexts where there are no, or minute, labour markets. Second, it provides income security and the opportunity to earn additional income from employment and enterprise. Third, it provides opportunity for education and training. Fourth, and most innovatively, it acts as an instrument for economic and community development. This is especially so in remote and very remote Australia where people reside on the Indigenous estate and operate within an unorthodox ‘hybrid economy’ where customary (non market) activity looms relatively large. The customary sector has considerable economic value, both for Indigenous people directly and in spillover benefits to other Australians. The links between the CDEP scheme and the operations of the hybrid economy are explored.

  • Publisher Location: Melbourne
  • Keywords: Employment opportunity, Community development, Remote, Education, Training, Income, Labour market, Indigenous people, Employment, Culture and society, Demographics, Teaching and learning, Oceania, Australia

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Suggested Citation
Altman, Jon, Gray, Matthew, 2005, The CDEP scheme: a flexible and innovative employment and community development program for Indigenous Australians, Conference Proceedings, viewed 01 December 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=11497.

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