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A $10 Million Promise


In a landmark speech last week, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott MP endorsed the GenerationOne approach of employer-directed training for Indigenous jobs.

Mr Abbott endorsed the training methods used in the current Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) model; “identify willing employers, earmark suitable jobs and guarantee Aboriginal people ongoing employment provided they do the training and take the job,” Mr Abbott said. 

The GenerationOne Skills and Training for a Career: Vocational Training and Employment Centre Policy (VTEC) provides a framework that moves away from a cycle of endless training and certificates with no real job attached, to employer-directed training.

GenerationOne and the Australian Employment Covenant have collectively called on all governments to stop pouring money into training Indigenous people for jobs that don’t exist. Mr Abbott committed an incoming Coalition government to $10m in funding for four VTEC trial sites, to support 1,000 Aboriginal people to take up guaranteed jobs that exist through the Australian Employment Covenant. 

GenerationOne has advocated for four VTEC sites to further refine the model, and demonstrate its success.  These sites will act a hub for service providers, job seekers and use existing resources.

“An incoming Coalition government will fund four trial sites for two years (at a cost of about $10 million using funds from existing Indigenous programs) to train 1,000 Aboriginal people for guaranteed jobs,” said Mr Abbott.  

In 2011 GenerationOne released the Walk in My Shoes research which shares the experiences of Indigenous people who are seeking employment. 

A key finding of the research report shows that Indigenous people are frustrated by training for training’s sake, and feel stuck in a training cycle that has no link to a job or career. 

“You can have 50,000 certificates – you’re still not going to get a job” one participant said. 

Watch the Real Stories video, and hear from people who have experienced employer-directed training, and see how it changed their lives.  

In May at the National Press Club in Canberra, Andrew Forrest supported by Prof. Marcia Langton, Dr Sue Gordon and Warren Mundine called for no more funding to be poured into Aboriginal training programs that don’t lead to real jobs. 

“What he’s [Andrew Forrest] actually asking is not for more money.  What he’s saying is don’t waste your money on JSA and IEP (Job Service Australia and Indigenous Employment Programs] unless you have the employer involved with a guaranteed job,” Prof Langton said.

Mr Abbott’s commitment is a positive move, and will be taken in good faith as the first step towards further potential roll out.  GenerationOne and the Australian Employment Covenant are positive that this momentum, with your support, will lead to an end of training for training’s sake. 

Our message is starting to get through.

But there is more to be done, and we need your help.

 If you support employer-directed training – training which leads to real jobs – share this blog with your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to join GenerationOne too, so they can also be part of the generation for change. 

For a copy of the GenerationOne Skills and Training for a Career: Vocational Training and Employment Centre Policy (VTEC) click here. 


For a copy of Tony Abbott’s speech click here.   


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