New program boosts career pathways for Aboriginal students
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A NSW Government program is giving more than 20 NSW year 11 Aboriginal students firsthand experience in working for government and accredited training to help set them on a career path.
The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has partnered with group training organisation HVTC on a new pilot School-based Aboriginal Trainee program (SBAT) that will see the students complete accredited training while finishing their senior studies.
The pilot program has so far seen 21 Aboriginal students secure traineeships with DPE in various locations in regional and metropolitan areas, working for business units including Property and Development NSW, Planning, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Water, Land and Housing Corporation, Environment and Heritage, and the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust.
Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said the program will run until 2024 when, on completion, the students will receive an accredited training certificate in areas including Certificate II in Workplace Skills, Certificate III in Business, and Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystems Management.
“This is a great initiative to give young Aboriginal students experience and a taste of working life in government across a range of areas while supporting their local communities, helping pave the way for future career opportunities in the public service or other areas they may choose,” Mr Kamper said.
Department of Planning and Environment Director of Aboriginal and Cultural Affairs Amanda McCarthy said students are required to complete 100 days on the job training and dedicate one day a week to their placement over two years.
“Students are paid for days they attend the workplace spending one day a week with the department in school terms and optional additional days during school holidays,” Ms McCarthy said.
“This program is a significant step in supporting young Aboriginal students to secure meaningful career opportunities and contributed to the national Closing the Gap target of 67 percent of Indigenous youth in employment, education or training by 2031.”
Ulladulla student Emma-Jane Binder is undertaking a traineeship with NPWS on the South Coast under the supervision of Team Leader Nathan Cattell. Student placements are also occurring in the Northern Tablelands, Central West, Sydney, North Coast, Hunter, Riverina and Illawarra regions.
“I am learning so much about the land and local marine animals,” Emma said.
“Going out and exploring different sites and doing different tasks, no two days are the same. It’s an exciting experience and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to share their knowledge and teach me different skills.”
Department of Planning and Environment NPWS Team Leader Nathan Cattell said: “It’s a great program and amazing to support a young person's development, watch them grow and learn about the culture and environment we work and live in. All our staff have been involved in Emma’s journey and I haven’t once had Emma say she’s had a boring day.”