Priority 1: Build a more skilled and diverse workforce

The Queensland Government is committed to promoting the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders in the Queensland economy by investing in skilling strategies, accredited training and assessment services that build confidence for future employment.

Growing the Queensland economy requires an investment in skills, training and education, all of which play an integral role in increasing economic participation, enhancing productivity and promoting economic growth.

Actions

Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders into work through a suite of targeted skills and training programs delivered through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiatives with $420 million available over six years until 2020–2021 (Department of Employment, Small Business and Training).

Create a more qualified and culturally competent early childhood workforce by increasing the number of qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services (Department of Education).

Implement and continue to update Departmental Cultural Capability Action Plans to ensure all Queensland Government departments and funded organisations deliver efficient, effective, and culturally responsive services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (All departments).

Partner across all levels of government to increase the economic participation of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland’s economy (Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships).

Implemented a whole-of-government workforce strategy to increase the proportion of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people working in the Queensland Public Sector to an aggregate three per cent target on the direct employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff by 2022 (All departments).

Developed and implemented an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework (2016–2026) to increase the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce across the Queensland Government health sector (Queensland Health).

Case study: Skilling Queenslanders for Work

In 2018-19, Gunya Meta Incorporated was awarded $390,200 under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work – Work Skills Traineeships program to employ 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers in Logan, under their ‘Deadly Business – Our Way’ project.

Gunya Meta is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that provides support to Indigenous families in Logan, providing education assistance and cultural awareness advice to organisations and workshops.

Trainees employed by Gunya Meta in the Deadly Business – Our Way project were hosted with local not-for-profit organisations over an 18-week period to complete a Certificate I in Business, obtain on the job training and exposure to a wide variety of community services and activities. The host organisations actively deliver services that are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Logan and included The Salvation Army, Pathways to Resilience, Kingston East Neighbourhood Centre, Mob Kinnectors and Wesley Mission, with trainees undertaking different work activities at each of the host organisations.

Gunya Meta encouraged trainee engagement through highly visual, soft entry activities including art, dance, music, yarning circles, cooking, and social and emotional activities. The Salvation Army involved trainees in research and development around local Aboriginal languages.

Pathways to Resilience involved trainees in their ‘Empowering Youth to Thrive’ project that uses the neuro-sequential model of therapeutics to heal and repair the brain from traumas of the past, therefore preparing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to move into further education, traineeships or employment.

The Wesley Mission involved trainees in developing and implementing suitable Indigenous resources, in consultation with Traditional Owners. Activities also involved events planning, networking and running community programs.

The project provided invaluable training support to build confidence, motivation and a sense of belonging and pride with individual support provided to both trainees and host organisations. Wrap around support included literacy and numeracy, industry visits, visits from guest speakers who spoke on topics initiated by the trainees, referrals to specialised services, mentoring, cultural awareness and protocols, job search and post participation support.

The Deadly Business – Our Way project was completed on 3 September 2019. At project completion, 20 trainees had completed accredited training in Certificate I in Business with 14 trainees gaining ongoing employment.

This case study was provided by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.