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Group training welcomes refocus of Indigenous employment programs

Australia’s group training sector today welcomed the federal government’s recent decision to reinstate the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) to 60 remote communities, as a sensible and practical means of affording job opportunities to Indigenous people.

The program was scrapped across remote areas by the former Labor government and replaced with the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP).

Group Training Australia (GTA) today welcomed the recent announcement by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, reinstating IEP funding for remote areas with a focus on real jobs that contribute to practical outcomes for individuals and communities.

The CEO of Group Training Australia, Jim Barron, said a return to policies and programs that encouraged effective training linked to jobs—rather than training-for-training’s sake—was a huge step in the right direction.

“The Minister should be applauded for the focus on measures aimed at building a direct link between training and employment, taking into account local labour market conditions, and ensuring some measure of compliance,” Mr Barron said.

“The reinstatement of IEP to remote communities is a win for Indigenous jobseekers and employers, and is a timely response from the government while the much needed re-design of the RJCP takes place.  Since its advent, the performance of RJCP has reportedly been patchy, with Indigenous recruitment in some locations all but stalled.”

Group training has a long and highly successful history in delivering employment and training opportunities to Indigenous Australians, particularly in regional and remote locations.

While the network employs some 12 per cent of all apprentices and trainees Australia wide, it employs 20 per cent of all Indigenous apprentices and trainees.

Media Contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications, 02 9241 2811, 0412 753 298,

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