The number of Aboriginal VET students has increased by 23.5 per cent, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s (NCVER) government-funded students and courses January to June 2019 publication.

This increase under the State Government’s Skilling South Australia initiative is coupled with the fact that 569 of the state’s 17,000 apprentices and trainees in training identify as Aboriginal Australians, representing a 2.4 per cent increase, which was above the national increase of 1.8 per cent.

“The Marshall Government is working with industry and businesses to create more jobs and career pathways for young South Australians, with an additional 31 Aboriginal apprentices and trainees in training compared to the same time last year,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.

“This is a welcome increase, with 300 of these individuals as at September undertaking a traineeship, while 269 are currently undertaking an apprenticeship.

“Of course, there is always more work to be done, and that’s why we are delivering bespoke programs through Skilling South Australia, co-designed with industry to grow our skilled workforce in a targeted way.

“One such Skilling South Australia project is the Civil Train Monarto Zoo, where 25 people will gain civil construction traineeships working on the Wild Africa expansion, including 20 Aboriginal participants.”

Another project under Skilling South Australia is the new traineeship pathway for Aboriginal Health Practitioners, which has seen the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice declared a vocation, allowing the course to be delivered through a paid traineeship model for the first time.

“These projects are providing a real boost to Aboriginal apprenticeships and traineeships and they come on the back of recent very positive figures which showed SA experienced a significant increase in apprentices and trainees, with 10,185 enrolments which is an increase of 2,280 or 28.8 per cent  SA’s percentage increase was the largest nationally,” Minister Pisoni said.

“While there is always more work to be done to repair the state’s training system, it’s encouraging to see more Aboriginal students undertaking apprentices and trainees and more apprentices and trainees overall in South Australia.”

Skilling South Australia projects which target Aboriginal participation include:

  • Civil Train Monarto Zoo
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers – higher apprenticeships
  • Iluka Resources – 50 per cent of existing worker participants are Aboriginal
  • Zancott Recruitment – range of apprenticeships in defence and manufacturing sectors
  • Pubic Sector traineeship program
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