The Indigenous Employment Policy: A preliminary evaluation Part II Policy perspectives and issues

The Indigenous Employment Policy: A preliminary evaluation Part II Policy perspectives and issues Report

  • Author(s): Shergold, Peter
  • Published: 2001

Abstract: The Indigenous Employment Policy (IEP) was introduced by Minister Peter Reith in 1999 as a result of decisions made in the 1998 Budget. It has been administered by DEWRSB. The IEP is a significant development: there had not been a major Commonwealth government initiative in the area of Indigenous employment since the mid 1980s. Indeed it is fair to say that before responsibility for employment became part of DEWRSB as part of a machinery of government change following the last election, the issue of Indigenous employment had not had a high priority. There had been a reasonable expectation that the radical new creation, Job Network, which replaced the old Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) and Employment Services Regulatory Agency (ESRA) would provide equity to Indigenous Australians—equity not only in terms of equitable access to labour market programs but equality in employment outcomes. However, it soon became clear that although Job Network is working increasingly well, delivering better employment outcomes at significantly lower cost, Indigenous Australians are the group who are least able to make effective use of its services. The rate of Indigenous unemployment continues to be unacceptably high. DEWRSB estimates that 40 per cent of Indigenous people are unemployed, if those on CDEP are included in the count. Estimates from other sources are even higher. It was necessary to introduce a policy framework and program initiatives to complement Job Network. A matter of even greater concern is that very few of those Indigenous people who are employed are at work in the private sector. The great majority are on CDEP, or have jobs in Commonwealth, State and Territory public services, or have jobs in local government or are working for community controlled Indigenous organisations which are largely publicly funded. Private sector employment remains the great challenge. If there is one key emphasis to the new IEP, it is to make more headway in accessing private sector jobs and getting them filled by Indigenous Australians.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Shergold, Peter, 2001, The Indigenous Employment Policy: A preliminary evaluation Part II Policy perspectives and issues, Report, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4522.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again