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LIBS WANT TAX DOLLARS TO GO TO COMPANIES HIRING ABORIGINES

Posted by PeterLain 
LIBS WANT TAX DOLLARS TO GO TO COMPANIES HIRING ABORIGINES
January 23, 2013 02:20PM
LIBS WANT TAX DOLLARS TO GO TO COMPANIES HIRING ABORIGINES

[www.theaustralian.com.au]
by: Jared Owens
From: The Australian
January 21, 2013 12:00AM


TAXPAYER funds should directly assist private companies that promise jobs to indigenous jobseekers if they complete relevant training, according to opposition spokesman Nigel Scullion.

The Northern Territory senator said government assistance could benefit jobseekers in remote areas that lack a "critical mass" of workers to warrant job-boosting private services, such as charter planes for fly-in, fly-out miners.

The money could also benefit jobseekers in cities and regional areas, where indigenous jobseekers often struggle to compete against their non-indigenous counterparts.

"I'm not suggesting the government should get in the way of private businesses and tell them what to do, but they might need some assistance along the way," Senator Scullion said.

He was responding to The Weekend Australian's report of an upcoming study by the Australian National University showing indigenous employment had increased 13 per cent in remote areas and 3 per cent in non-remote areas between 2006 and 2011.

Senator Scullion said he expected the data to show strong growth in centres such as Port Hedland, where mining boss Andrew Forrest's Vocational Training and Education centre program offered training with the promise of a job at the end.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said Labor's efforts to lift indigenous employment were bearing fruit: "We have put in place a number of measures to help more Aboriginal people into jobs with proper wages and conditions, including improving employment and participation services and enforcing a 20 per cent indigenous jobs target on all work undertaken through the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing."

Nicholas Biddle, a fellow at the ANU's Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, said: "In non-remote areas the indigenous population are likely to be competing for jobs with the rest of the population, so we need to look at ensuring better skills and training for the indigenous population.

" For remote communities it's really about ensuring that jobs are available in the places where indigenous people live."



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