Santos trainee scheme is helping skill indigenous youth
AN INDIGENOUS training strategy worth $4 million over four years was announced by Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek on Tuesday.
"We are committed to indigenous Queenslanders having the same opportunities as non-indigenous people," Mr Langbroek said.
"All Queenslanders should be afforded the same chance to contribute to and benefit from the state's prosperity."
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Minister Glen Elmes said the unemployment rate among indigenous Queenslanders was unacceptably high and the best way to address that was through targeted training.
"Training must be linked to real jobs for it to be effective," Mr Elmes said.
Santos GLNG Gladstone regional manager Garry Scanlan said Santos was positive about the future of indigenous work and training in Gladstone.
"One of the tangible benefits of building a successful LNG industry is the ability to provide local employment and training," he said.
Santos GLNG sponsors a traineeship and apprenticeship program for indigenous high school students in Gladstone.
"Working with school-based programs is beneficial for us, the community, and above all the trainees involved," Mr Scanlan said.
"We will continue to seek to invest in opportunities for young Aboriginal people in the Gladstone region as an important part of our development of a strong local workforce."
Paul Miles, chief executive officer of not-for-profit recruitment and apprenticeships organisation Busy At Work, is happy to see additional funding allocated.
"It's so important to link training to real job outcomes and clearly this is the intent of this funding," he said.
"We would encourage industry to get behind these strategies and utilise opportunities like this to enhance their own workforce development strategies."
Santos program opens employment doors
TANNUM Sands's Taleah Cleland is one of seven high school students who took part in a meet-up of indigenous trainees and apprentices in South Gladstone yesterday.
The school-based apprenticeship and traineeship program is a two-year program funded by Santos GLNG that provides a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to begin work placements leading to formal qualifications in their chosen field.
Fifteen-year-old Taleah has lived in Tannum Sands for four years and belongs to the Bidjara tribe from Carnarvon Gorge, near Rolleston.
It has opened my eyes to a wider variety of jobs rather than just staying at school.
She is undertaking a traineeship in aged care.
"I chose aged care because I want to get into the health area. I want to work in nursing in the future," she said.
"This traineeship has made a really big difference.
"I don't just want to be sitting down in a work place. I want to get out and work.
"It has opened my eyes to a wider variety of jobs rather than just staying at school."
Taleah said having more indigenous people working in health was a good thing because they understood the health issues specific to indigenous communities.
Asked what she enjoys about working with elderly people, Taleah grinned.
"They're all so lovely, they're really friendly. I do their shopping, I shower them, talk to them and see if they need any help with anything."
Busy At Work's Vanessa Parry, who co-ordinates with employers to run the program, said she was amazed at the maturity of the young people involved.
"My goal is that when they apply for jobs they've got the wow factor. You can have a hundred people with the same technical skills but it's the interpersonal skills that really count," she said.