Two new papers on overcoming Indigenous disadvantage have been released by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse.
closing the gap
The Clearinghouse is jointly funded by all Australian Governments and delivered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).
The Clearing House said one of the papers, Increasing Indigenous employment rates, looked specifically at measures shown to improve Indigenous employment prospects.
“Indigenous Australians have much lower rates of employment than other Australians for a number of reasons, including lower levels of education and training, poorer health, and living in areas with fewer job opportunities,” it said.
“A number of measures, including increased formal education and training, pre-employment assessment and training programs, and non-standard, Indigenous-specific recruitment strategies are effective in overcoming this disadvantage.
“Ongoing measures are also helpful to ensure employment retention, such as the provision of cross-cultural training, flexible working arrangements, ongoing mentoring, and anti-racism initiatives.”
The paper, produced by Matthew Gray, Boyd Hunter and Shaun Lohoar said the problem of low Indigenous employment rates was magnified by the over-representation of Indigenous Australians in correctional systems which was an issue examined in the second paper, Strategies to enhance employment of Indigenous ex-offenders after release from correctional institutions.
“There are a number of prison-based and community-based programs aimed at improving employment prospects for ex-prisoners, however, there are only a small number of Indigenous-specific programs,” the Clearing House said.
“To address the problem, a long-term, transitional focus is essential, with programs ideally adopting a personalised, case-management approach.”
It said programs incorporating Indigenous knowledge and practices, or involving Indigenous facilitators or elders were also helpful, as was mentoring or other support options.
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Edition 158, 22 March 2012