//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian private sector closing jobs gap as indigenous work rises


Andrew Forrest

Andrew Forrest

Bold policies to close the gap between black and white Australia in employment are working, with new data revealing that employment growth for Aborigines has increased dramatically, mainly in remote areas via the private sector.

A paper to be released by the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University offers the first major analysis of the nation’s closing the gap strategy, demonstrating that between 2006 and 2011, the employment rate increased by 13 per cent in remote areas and 3 per cent in non-remote areas for the nation’s first people.

The lead author of the analysis, Matthew Gray, told The Weekend Australian the change in strategy away from welfare and into work over the past five years was showing promising results.

“The evidence is that increases in private sector employment is due in part to the commitment of employers to increase the number of indigenous workers they employ,” Professor Gray said.

“Strategies such as non-standard recruitment strategies, which means that indigenous people who would be screened out be conventional selection processes have the opportunity to win jobs, reducing workplace discrimination via cross-cultural training and providing on-going mentoring and support have been found to be effective.”

One strategy includes miner Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s indigenous jobs plan, which has asked bosses to commit thousands of jobs to Aborigines.

The paper uses census data combined with data from the federal government’s Community Development Employment Project to produce estimates of changes in non-CDEP employment for indigenous Australians between 1996 and 2011. CDEP is the Aboriginal work-for-the-dole scheme that is being slowly phased out.

The ANU analysis of census data shows that for indigenous Australians, non-CDEP employment increased substantially between 2006 and 2011. For indigenous men, non-CDEP employment increased from 38 per cent to 45 per cent and for women it increased from 34 per cent to 39 per cent.

“The biggest increases in non-CDEP employment have been in remote areas, although in non-remote areas there has still been a steady, albeit more modest, increase in the employment rate between 2006 and 2011,” it finds.

Between the 2006 and 2011 censuses the indigenous population count increased by 20.5 per cent partly due to changes in people identifying themselves as indigenous.

The ANU employment paper finds “it is extremely unlikely that changes in identification could explain all of the increases in employment, as the largest increases in employment were in remote areas which had the smallest increases in indigenous population.”

Warren Mundine, the chief executive of Mr Forrest’s GenerationOne, said the figures were very pleasing but demonstrated the private sector needed more help to keep their jobs push going.

“GenerationOne through the Australian Employment Covenant has worked with hundreds of companies and organisations to see a real increase in the rate of indigenous recruitment, placements and retention. The private sector has been the driving force behind the changes in indigenous employment.

” I am cautious not to be marching in the victory parade just yet.

“Until indigenous employment figures match non-indigenous employment figures we will continue to argue that VTEC is the way to support long term unemployed people into jobs.”

Vocational Training and Employment centres are a model Mr Mundine is pushing with Mr Forrest to roll out nationally. They only provide training that is linked to an identified job that’s been promised by a company.

The census analysis finds indigenous employment in the mining sector increased substantially between 2006 and 2011, even if mining employment remained a relatively minor contributor to overall employment. In remote areas the increase has been driven by increases in private sector employment. In non-remote areas the proportion in the private sector did not change.

Professor Gray said there have been increases in indigenous employment in virtually all industries. “The biggest increases have been in health, education and other services, mining, construction, transport, hospitality and retail trade,” he said.

“The increase in indigenous employment is the result of strong economic growth, increasing levels of education and changes to the welfare system which have encouraged those receiving government benefits to find paid employment.”

For both men and women there were substantial increases in non-CDEP employment. For women, the employment rate increased from 26 per cent in 1996 to 39 per cent in 2011. Over this period the employment rate of other Australian women as a whole increased from 49 per cent to 56 per cent. For indigenous men, the non-CDEP employment rate increased from 31 per cent to 45 per cent. For other Australian men the employment rate increased from 65 per cent to 68 per cent.

The increases in non-CDEP employment continued in both remote and non-remote areas, but the increases were greater in the bush. In remote areas the non-CDEP employment rate increased by 13 percentage points to 27 per cent compared to an increase of 3 points to 46 per cent in non-remote areas.

In remote areas, the proportion of employment in the private sector for indigenous women increased from 57 per cent to 63 per cent and 57 per cent to 71 per cent for men.

The percentage of indigenous males and females employed in mining more than doubled in remote areas. Employment in mining also increased in non-remote areas, most likely associated with greater utilisation of fly-in fly-out workers.

The number of indigenous miners increased in both areas from approximately 1400 and 1900 respectively in 2006 to 3100 and 4400 in 2011.

“While this is still a small portion of the overall indigenous workforce in Australia, it is a significant portion of indigenous employment in particular regions.

“Indigenous involvement in mining increased substantially as a percentage of all indigenous employment and is now closer to the percentage of mining employment for overall Australian employment,” the paper says.

And despite the substantial job loss in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries across Australia, indigenous workers in that sector also fared relatively well compared to other Australians.

In remote areas, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries lost almost 9000 jobs between the last two censuses, but more indigenous people were employed in that sector in 2011 compared to 2006.

Source: The Australian “Private sector closing jobs gap as indigenous work rises”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Australian government defends indigenous policy | Craig Hill - March 12, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

A few days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s arrest news took social media by storm. The atmosphere was jubilant as if the whole world looked forward to Xi’s exit. The rumor turned out to be fake news; Xi’s third term looks secured. Xi Jinping is all set to snatch the historic third term in the […]

China is coming for your land

China is coming for your land

Drought has plunged water levels to the lowest in China in decades. The temperatures have also soared to record levels, and hydropower plants failed to meet the sharp rise in power demand. However, this is just a glimpse of the worst things to come. Floods, droughts, and record-breaking temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on […]

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

A great fire destroyed Rome for six days in the summer of AD 64. Famous Roman historian of that time, Tacitus, recorded that 70 percent of the city was destroyed and half of the city’s residents were displaced. Roman ruler Nero was accused of being indifferent, ineffective, and careless. The end result of this neglect […]

%d bloggers like this: