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Monday, July 15, 2024

Job creation program for First Nations Queenslanders

UP to 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals will benefit from a State Government program that aims to create training and employment pathways for First Nations jobseekers.

A new $2.8 million round of funding for the Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant program has been committed to as part of the Queensland Skills Strategy: Pathways For First Nations Peoples plan, taking the total investment in the program to $7 million.

The program recognises that skills and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be more successful when solutions are designed and developed locally and supported by the community.

Among the 11 projects sharing in $2.4 million to equip First Nations participants with in-demand skills and training from community services to construction is Thursday Island’s Torres Strait Kaziw Meta with $177,800 for their Indigenous-led Learners Program.

The new program will support up to 20 disengaged young people and boarding house parents to gain their learner licence and access driving lessons to obtain their driver licence and access employment opportunities.

The project will help tackle local transport issues for young people and open doors to job opportunities in a wide range of industries. In addition to obtaining a licence, participants will be exposed to several career paths, have access to training and well-being services, and learn resume writing and interview skills.

In Far North Queensland, projects also include:

  • $250,000 for Cape York Institute’s Skills to Lead Program 2024-2025 – Cape York Institute Leadership Academy, which will support up to 22 Indigenous participants in Cairns and Cape York to build confidence and job readiness, and secure meaningful employment.
  • $159,300 for Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council to support 15 participants to undertake non-accredited and flexible training that will improve their language, literacy, numeracy, and digital skills to help them find employment or start their own business.

The remaining eight projects will be delivered in Townsville, Goondiwindi, Longreach, Rockhampton and across Southeast Queensland.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui, a Torres Strait Island woman, said she was passionate about economic development for Queensland’s remote communities.

“We are investing in people – in skill-building, jobs, and training – because this is the foundation from which we grow business, industry, and economically,” she said.

“Programs like this are already making a difference, changing lives, and building futures, so we are excited to build on these partnerships, working closely with First Nations peoples to achieve their goals in training and employment.”

Kaziw Meta CEO Thomas Dunsmore said the program would create opportunities.

“One of the big challenges here in the Torres Strait is just simply getting your licence–something that’s very easy for us to attain down south – so for our kids it’s about just making that pathway a bit easier and for them,” he said.

“This will just create so many opportunities, open doors to jobs, and really gives them the skill set to grow and go on the right pathway and journey in life.”

Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant program was extended under the Good Jobs, Great Training: Queensland Skills Strategy and features in Pathways For First Nations Peoples.

The next funding round is now open and eligible Indigenous organisations have until Thursday, 3 October 2024 to apply.

For a full list of successful projects or to apply for the next round of grants, please visit the Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant page.

For more information and to read the Good Jobs, Great Training: Queensland Skills Strategy 2024 – 2028, visit www.qld.gov.au/SkillsStrategy

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Max Jackson to headline Amateurs Ball and John Cole Toyota supports patient care.

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