Submission to the Australian Government Review of Remote Employment Services
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3 Revitalise locally based organisations It is exceedingly apparent to the CLC that locally based organisations deliver employment services far more effectively. Through the CLCs Ranger Programs it has become clear that trust and strong relationships are vital to achieving results in the CLC region. The importance of knowing a persons name, their family and their story cannot be underestimated. Equally important is a willingness to listen and be responsive to peoples issues, training needs and aspirations. It is important to recognise that commitment to a job is a two way thing, such that an employer commits to the offering relevant training and support and the employee commits to doing the job properly. These reciprocal obligations require a strong basis of trust, and in the remote context in which the CLC operates there is also required a degree of flexibility and contextual understanding. On the one hand it is immensely important to be clear about employee obligations and what is expected from the outset; that it means an employee turning up everyday and a great deal of personal effort and commitment. If an employee understands this and is prepared to provide the requisite level of commitment, there is a concomitant requirement to strongly support them. This should include providing all the benefits that come with a real job but also ongoing training, support and ongoing mentoring. Training: Capacity and Opportunity In terms of participation there is, additionally, a need for two things to be present; capacity and opportunity. Capacity needs to be developed in tandem with providing the opportunity to work. Improved remote economic participation can only succeed where both are present. This is best achieved through an understanding of the local context. JSA providers are funded through contracts with DEEWR to organise training for their clients, which is meant to get them ready for work. However, most training that is conducted in remote Central Australia for Aboriginal people is make-shift, often non-accredited, and unrelated to opportunities that do exist locally. For example, in some places JSA providers are doing building and construction training where there is no building happening in the community. It is unsurprising, therefore, that most training leads to no real job outcomes. Due to years of educational underinvestment and historical disadvantage the real training needs are often in the pastoral care/life skills area. Many Aboriginal people from remote communities require assistance in these foundational areas in order to approach being able to be employed or work ready. Training therefore is often a matter of starting from with relevant life and personal skill development and then, over time, assisting people to determine and fulfil their aspirations. The CLC has experience and understanding of the types of training and the level of support need through operating the Ranger Programs. The CLC Ranger programs largely take on people that have either never worked or had an incomplete