Friday, June 21, 2024

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HomeIssue 32Real training for real jobs

Real training for real jobs

A Certificate II in Rural Operations has been specially developed by the Central Desert Shire and MacDonnell Shire, in collaboration with the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT).
It is for local Indigenous Field Officers and Civil Works Assistants also for trainees in the Remote Jobs and Communities Program.
“This is real training for real employees in real jobs including installing fencing, repairing potholes, operating machinery, maintaining landfills, operating chainsaws, maintaining septic systems and participating in sustainable work practices,” says Director of Works for Central Desert Shire, Glenn Marshall.
“All Council Field Officers are already employed by the Shires in real jobs. This is part of their on-the-job professional development.
“RJCP participants undertaking the training are not currently employed, and are building their job-readiness by participating. As Field Officer jobs become available, and if they are committed to their training, they will be prioritised for employment. It is a very positive initiative, based in reality,” says Mr Marshall.
Graham Murnik, Acting Director of Service Centre Delivery at MacDonnell Shire said: “We employ around 100 Indigenous Civil Works Assistants across 13 locations in the MacDonnell Shire, and we are committed to building our workers’ skills and confidence as they deliver vital services for their fellow residents.”
The picture shows Kasman Spencer (left) and Geoffrey Wilson repairing a push whipper snipper as part of the “small engines” unit at the Yuendumu training. (Contributed.)


  1. The Remote Jobs and Communities Program is the latest training and job creation endeavour from the federal government.
    It is massively funded, $1.5 billion overall and of course there is high interest from the Aboriginal industry, if nothing else this program will support dozens of organisations.
    Payment to the organisations depends on deliverables such as students passing a Certificate II which ensures that all students will pass, and probably in record time, irrespective of their attendance or participation. That is an absolute certainty.
    Because most participants are semi- literate and no funds are provided for literacy/numeracy development – this is strictly job oriented training, there are a lot of doubts about the job readiness of the Cert 2 graduates. How job ready can anyone be if they can’t read and write?
    But no one is complaining right now because the RJCP is a huge trough of money with room for many snouts.

  2. What a treat to read of genuine attempts to advance the skills of those that really want to work, rather that just throwing money around. Congratulations to those that conceived this concept, and let up hope that it will grow.

  3. @interested observer.
    Sad to see such negativity. Just how many jobs have the billions of dollars poured into the indigenous community created to date per million dollars? Not too many I think, and here we have a program that can and will give these same people a chance at learning skills which will enable them to contribute to society.
    Literacy is not an absolute requirement of basic job skills, an advantage, yes, but an absolute necessity, no.
    If this program gives even a small group of people a better life it is money well spent.

  4. Tough problem. Yuendumu is a long way from anywhere.
    It’s a true crime that photography is banned, for the rest of Australia should see this 3rd world in our backyard.
    Buildings with walls fallen down, smashed cars, fire barrels, litter everywhere.
    A Mad Max scene.
    This is a story repeated in many places in the outback.
    It will cost money to send out people to these places to end poverty, but people will realistically have to leave to make any money unless through covert handouts.

  5. The big problem is there is never any need for a ‘real’ outcome for the trainee by those teaching.
    Indigenous Land Corporation ILC have trained 66 people on country they lease in the Roper River area, not one, NOT ONE, of them ever got a real FULL TIME position out of it.
    ILC signed off on people that didn’t even complete 12 months of training. Then ILC offer jobs such as “hey you mob can go work Broome now, but you can’t take your family with you”, well that’s a job offer, but who is going to take that?
    ILC wordsmithing, yes, we offered them a job haha, really, ILC has to stand for Indigenous Lost Cause, but here in the Roper Area the people call it Mununga (whiteman) Land Corporation, and here lies the biggest problem.

  6. I worked for employment agencies and I was amazing at the wealth creation for those persons who established the business.
    If we think about the wealth of Mrs Rudd (Kevin Rudd’s wife). That wealth came about by employment agency and training.
    The government removed the contracts in remote and gave to shires to assist them via another means of funding.
    One big mistake there was that shires are governed by land councils. I agree with Phil.
    CDEP raises its head again. The only people who make money are those running the programs. What about shires given money to pay workers.
    If there is CDEP positions that would equate to a real job vacancy.
    I am at a loss as to why money for RJCP to shires is spent contacting out to other indigenous organisations such as Tangentyere Council.
    More snouts in the money trough and no outcomes.
    This liberal government federal need to rein in the money for nothing program and stop apartheid promotion through their policies and spending. And start treating Aboriginal people as equal citizens in Australia. With respect and dignity.

  7. The wheel turns full circle. In the late fifties when Warribri (Ali Curung) was built we had training centres then.
    Maintenance, motor vehicles and residences. Communal kitchens. ALL children went to school. And so on.
    It all fell to bits some years later. I sincerely hope that after decades of failed attempts this will work.
    But sadly I am not holding my breath.

  8. The biggest mistake is NOT requiring these corporate land-owners to issue reasonable leases within the various towns.
    Lack of leases results in a fantasy land with little learning by individuals of responsibilities upon tenants and landlords found almost everywhere else. That public funds prop up this mis-education borders on the criminal.
    The inability to obtain reasonable leases is main reason it is so difficult, almost impossible, for ordinary businesses to be set up, operate and competing in these communities.
    Without normal range of business operating missing is the range of casual and permanent employment which provides real training and motivation for people to start and operate their own business.


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