Mobility and Employment
Services and support are available in Cape York to support Indigenous Australians to find ongoing employment, both within and outside their communities.
The Structured Training and Employment Project (STEP) provides a range of services including intensive work readiness training, targeted pre-employment assistance, work placement and mentoring. This meets a wide variety of needs in preparing people for jobs. These services complement and enhance the broad range of services currently available in communities through contracted employment services providers.
For example, various projects operating through STEP include:
- A youth engagement project focusing on the Hope Vale community and Cooktown High School
- A work readiness project targeted at the expected jobs at the Mossman Gorge visitors centre development
- Work readiness projects in Aurukun both with Rio Tinto, and as part of a broader intensive work preparation program delivered through Western Cape College.
Support is also available for Indigenous Australians who wish to voluntarily relocate to areas with greater job opportunities.
An example of this is Cape York Partnerships Projects which has partnered with Mission Australia, through STEP, to continue the Work Placement Scheme that offers individuals pre and postplacement support, training and mentoring. This scheme has placed participants directly into jobs in Victoria.
General mobility assistance is also available and can be tailored to the needs of individual circumstances, for people who take up job opportunities outside their communities.
Real Jobs from CDEP Activities
A key component of reforming the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) program as part of Cape York Welfare Reform involves converting CDEP positions to real jobs. Around 40 jobs supporting the delivery of Federal Government Services will be created from CDEP activities in the four Cape York trial communities. The Queensland Government is also committed to creating real jobs in Indigenous communities and is currently finalising its assessment prior to transitioning, where appropriate, CDEP participants supporting state government delivered or funded services.
Improving the quality of life for Indigenous Australians will involve building their capacity to engage in the economy and to generate opportunities for economic participation through job creation. All Indigenous Australians deserve the opportunity to build wealth and become economically independent of the welfare system.
Jobs in government service delivery are being created in recognition that many CDEP participants undertake work activities that should be fully renumerated as real jobs with normal employment conditions. This means that former CDEP participants might be doing the same type of work that they did under CDEP but will now benefit from normal employment arrangements, and will be fully renumerated for their employment without any subsidisation from CDEP. Workers will receive wages, superannuation and access to training and professional development.
Transitioning CDEP participants to real jobs will involve establishing normalised employment conditions between employers and employees. Employers may also have different expectations for their employee than they did under CDEP. For example, the employer may negotiate different working hours, work standards and responsibilities than previously expected under CDEP.