THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
SENATOR THE HON MARK ARBIB
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
11 February 2011
Indigenous people living in rural and remote areas will receive aged care training in their own communities under a Gillard Government plan to bring employment opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib said four registered training organisations had been engaged to provide on-site aged care training to more than 60 communities in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
“The project will provide important and relevant training to Indigenous people in their own communities, and this will assist the ageing Indigenous population to receive culturally appropriate care,” Mr Butler said.
“The project is part of the National Jobs Creation Package funded under the Council of Australian Governments’ National Partnerships on Indigenous Economic Participation.
“It includes a $172.7 million commitment over five years commencing 2008-09 to provide employment and training opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in areas of government service delivery.”
Mr Butler added that the training aims to increase employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in line with the Government’s commitment to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.
“Experience with similar projects currently being implemented in remote regions in the Northern Territory and in Cape York has demonstrated the benefits of providing specific on-site training to Indigenous aged care workers.”
Mr Butler said Government changes to the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program in 2009 led to the creation of permanent, part-time positions in aged care services nationally.
“The project will deliver nationally-accredited training to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care workers with skills to effectively deliver aged care services in their communities, and reaffirms the Gillard Government’s commitment to providing quality aged care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Senator Arbib welcomed the funding to train Indigenous aged care workers.
“This program supports the government’s commitment of more than $750 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program, to assist Indigenous Australians into ongoing, sustainable work,” Senator Arbib said.
“Providing Indigenous people with good training will give them the best chance to secure long-term sustainable jobs.”
Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon said that this aged care training is an important initiative to provide employment, as well as relevant professional development opportunities, in the field of Indigenous health.
"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care workers, equipped with the skills and resources they need to do the job, will assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access the aged care services they need in a culturally appropriate setting in which they feel most comfortable," he said.
Minister Butler – Adam Smith 0407 415 484
Minister Arbib – Alison Hill 0407 570 640
Minister Snowdon – Alison Plate 0400 045 999