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Indigenous education, training and skilling

Strategy: Improve participation and qualification outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders, focusing particularly on Certificate III and above qualifications

Video: Tagai State College, Navigating YUMI to a Successful Future

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The RACQ Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Phase of Learning
Tagai State College, Navigating YUMI to a Successful Future

Tagai State College's Navigating YUMI to a Successful Future is improving career pathways for senior students from 18 campuses across a vast 48,000 square kilometre stretch of the Torres Strait.

The Service guarantee model was the catalyst for changes to curriculum.

The appointment of a School-to-Work team to support graduates and strong partnerships with Tagai TAFE, local and regional industries and employers.

Students commitment to the service guarantee has paid off with more than 75% of Year 12 students going on to university, vocational education and training or employment

It's a tremendous improvement compared with just four years ago, when more than half the Year 12 graduates were not earning or learning within three months after they'd finished school.

Tagai State College, guaranteeing students are earning or learning.

Indigenous participation at school

The department is committed to keeping Indigenous senior students at school and undertakes a number of strategies to achieve this. In line with national data, there was a slight decline in the number of Indigenous young people in Years 10-12 in 2009. However, the Queensland retention rate of 59.8 per cent is still well above the national figure of 49.6 per cent (see Figure 45).

Figure 45: Apparent retention rates for Indigenous students in Years 10-12, 2006-09 - Queensland & Australia

Apparent retention rates for Indigenous students in Years 10-12, 2006-09 - Queensland & Australia

Graph comparing retention rates for Indigenous students in Years 10-12, 2006-09 - Queensland & Australia

Source: ABS unpublished data

Note: Qld state and non-state schools Indigenous students cf Aust state and non-state schools Indigenous students

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Indigenous school-based apprenticeships and traineeships

Indigenous students have benefited from the Queensland Government's drive to double the number of SAT commencements by December 2009, with numbers rising from a base of 410 in 2006 to 798 in 2009.

The number of Indigenous young people who commenced a SAT in 2009 is included in Figure 46.

Figure 46: Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee commencements

Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee commencements

Graph showing trends in Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee commencements 2006-2010

Source: Department of Education and Training - Contract of Training Database (DELTA)

The success in the uptake of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships by young Indigenous people has been supported by a notable 102 per cent increase in Indigenous SAT completions across Queensland from 2008 to 2009. Completions since the 2006 base year increased by 204 per cent.

Figure 47: Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee completions

Number of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee completions

Graph showing trends in numbers of Indigenous school-based apprentice and trainee completions 2006-2009

Source: Department of Education and Training - Contract of Training Database (DELTA)

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Indigenous student destinations

The 2010 Next Step survey indicates that of those Indigenous students who completed Year 12:

  • 14.9 per cent enrolled in university studies
  • 29.5 per cent went on to vocational education and training (including apprentices and trainees)
  • 28.6 per cent were in the workforce
  • 22.6 per cent were actively seeking work
  • 4.3 per cent were not studying and not in the labour force.

Figure 48: Main destinations of Indigenous Year 12 completers - Queensland 2010

Main destinations of Indigenous Year 12 completers - Queensland 2010

Pie chart outlining main destinations of Queensland Indigenous Year 12 from 2009

Source: 2010 Next Step Survey

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Closing the gap in employment

The department is committed to supporting Australia in closing the gap in employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by developing and supporting accessible and relevant education and training pathways that lead to skills acquisition and jobs. During 2009-10, the department provided:

  • $2.7 million as part of the joint state-Commonwealth Training Initiatives for Indigenous Adults in Regional and Remote Communities program
  • $1.6 million to support students from the Torres Strait, Cape York and Palm Island and their families while they studied away from home at regional and metropolitan secondary schools.

Indigenous Employment and Training Strategy

The Positive Dreaming, Solid Futures: Indigenous Employment and Training Strategy 2008-2011 was designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the opportunities to undertake industry-relevant training and pre-employment initiatives in order to fulfil labour supply demands.

The strategy aims to support the training and employment needs of Indigenous Queenslanders by:

  • maximising employment through strategic alliances
  • skilling individuals for work
  • building capabilities in communities to enhance community and economic development opportunities
  • aligning employment support and training to the needs of Indigenous Queenslanders.

In 2009-10, the second year of implementation, Positive Dreaming, Solid Futures has seen progress across a range of initiatives:

  • The state government's Building and Construction Contracts Structured Training Policy (10 per cent Training Policy) has been enhanced to include Indigenous employment as an option in the compliance model. As at 30 June 2010, 170 Indigenous workers had received an employment opportunity on Queensland Government funded or managed infrastructure projects. The Joint Group Training Program funding for the 2009-10 financial year has been amended to include funding to support apprenticeship commencements, completion and retentions.
  • Towards the Queensland Skills Plan commitment to Certificate IV and above training places, during 2009-10, 2466 Indigenous students were participating in Certificate IV and above level training. This represents an 8.4 per cent increase on 2008-09 figures, compared to a 5.7 per cent increase for the system overall.
  • During 2009-10, 165 Indigenous Queenslanders undertook pre-employment training for the resource and affiliated industries under the Indigenous Skilling Partnerships initiative - a suite of skilling initiatives targeting future employment in the resource sector - exceeding the target of 120 pre-vocational training places per year by 45. Training was delivered across various industry training areas, including general construction and engineering.

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Indigenous participation in apprenticeships and traineeships

The department continues to encourage Indigenous Queenslanders to engage in all training pathways, including apprenticeships and traineeships. During 2009-10, 3229 Indigenous people accessed apprenticeship and traineeship training.

Figure 49: Number of Indigenous apprentice and trainee commencements

Number of Indigenous apprentice and trainee commencements

Graph showing trends in numbers of Indigenous apprentice and trainee commencements 2005-2010

Source: Department of Education and Training - Contract of Training Database (DELTA)

Figure 50: Number of Indigenous apprentice and trainee completions

Number of Indigenous apprentice and trainee completions

Graph showing trends in number of Indigenous apprentice and trainee completions 2005 - 2010

Source: Department of Education and Training - Contract of Training Database (DELTA)

Table 22: Module/competency completion rates of Indigenous apprentices and trainees

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

Successful completion of modules/competencies

91.1%

93.7%

92.9%

92.7%

Source: Department of Education and Training

The successful completion of competency by Indigenous apprentices and trainees has remained consistently good at 91 and 93 per cent (see Table 22). The average success rate for competency completion for all apprentices and trainees over the same time period was 96 per cent.

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Indigenous participation in vocational education and training

The Indigenous VET Initiatives (IVI) Unit provides strategic leadership and advice on Indigenous VET priorities. The IVI Unit maintains partnerships at a range of strategic government and community levels, and operates within the authorising environment established through the Council of Australian Governments agenda of closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage, and the state agenda, including Toward Q2: Tomorrow's Queensland and the Queensland Skills Plan. The Positive Dreaming, Solid Futures: Indigenous Employment and Training Strategy 2008-2011 forms Action 2.1.2 of the Queensland Skills Plan and is the blueprint for closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes in Queensland.

In 2009-10, the department allocated over $6 million towards targeted strategies specifically designed to encourage Indigenous participation including:

  • Cape York Employment and Training Strategy
  • Training Initiatives for Indigenous Adults in Regional and Remote Communities
  • Regional and Remote Training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Indigenous Remote Area Strategy for Cape, Gulf and Torres Strait.

DET's stated goal is to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Year 12 or equivalent rates by 2013. Using Year 12 student outcomes as a measure, in 2008 the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Year 12 students who received an OP, QCE, QCIA, IBD or VET qualification was 14.2 per cent. In 2009, the equivalent gap was 13.7 per cent. Performance Indicator symbol

Indigenous Queenslanders performed slightly better than overall students in publicly funded VET systems. There was a growth in student numbers (6.2 per cent) from 2008-09 to 2009-10 (15 205 students up from 14 315 in the previous year), while there was a 0.8 per cent increase in overall VET student numbers.

In 2009-10, Indigenous students represent 5.5 per cent of total publicly funded VET students, compared to 5.2 per cent representation in 2008-09.

There was a 7.7 per cent growth in the number of Indigenous students undertaking Certificate III and above courses, while higher level training (Certificate III and above) grew overall by 0.2 per cent across the publicly funded VET system.

Figure 51: Number of Indigenous students in the publicly funded VET system

Number of Indigenous students in the publicly funded VET system

Graph showing trends in number of Indigenous students in the publicly funded VET system 2005-2010

Source: Department of Education and Training

Figure 52: Number of VET qualifications awarded to Indigenous students in Queensland

Number of VET qualifications awarded to Indigenous students in Queensland

Graph showing trends in number of VET qualifications awarded to Indigenous students in Queensland 2005-2010

Source: Department of Education and Training

Trends in Indigenous qualification completions reflect the department's commitment to higher level qualifications. Figure 52 demonstrates how completion of Certificate III and above qualifications increased 12 per cent in the past 12 months.

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Cape York Employment and Training Strategy

In 2009-10, the Cape York Employment and Training Strategy allocated $2.432 million to provide community-driven, targeted training to support employment and enterprise development opportunities in the Cape York region, with a key focus on support for apprentices and trainees.

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Indigenous Funding Pool

Introduced in 2009-10, with an allocation of $4.293 million, the Indigenous Funding Pool provides funds to support demand-driven training for Indigenous people in Queensland, including the provision of supplementary funds to TAFE institutes for strategic initiatives such as training, tutorial assistance, capacity building and the development of innovative pilot programs and research.

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Training for aspiring Indigenous performing artists

Photograph showing an Indigenous female  in dance performance.

In 2009-10, the department provided $650 000 to the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) through the Creative Industries initiative and the Indigenous Funding Pool (IFP). As a result, 69 young Indigenous performing artists from across the state undertook accredited training at Certificate III to Advanced Diploma levels.

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Training Initiatives for Indigenous Adults in Regional and Remote Communities

Funding under the Training Initiatives for Indigenous Adults in Regional and Remote Communities (TIFIARRC) supports the implementation of practical, flexible and integrated strategies to help Indigenous Australians in regional and remote communities take advantage of VET opportunities which lead to employment. TIFIARRC is an initiative that is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments and covers the period 2007-11.

During 2009-10, the department allocated over $2.7 million for training and support services to Indigenous Queenslanders. Training included civil construction and mining, Indigenous primary health care, aged care, nursing, conservation and land management, and tourism.

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Regional and remote training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

In 2009-10, the department allocated $1 million to 6 TAFE Queensland institutes to deliver training under this initiative. This enabled tailored training at Certificate III level and above to help meet industry and community demand across a range of areas including engineering, construction, business and primary industries.

Video: Indigenous Students (Anything's possible with TAFE)

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Indigenous Students (Anything's possible with TAFE)

Chris Anderson (Indigenous Student Support Coordinator) - It's absolutely important that we meet and understand the needs of the students. We need to understand before we can assist. Sometimes Indigenous students are new to the area and seeking accommodation, and we assist in that role as well.

Male Student 1 - The people. Meeting all these other students. The teachers, you know, they made me feel comfortable here and feel at home.

Female Student 1 - Yeah, the teachers are really great. Like, they're helpful.

Male Student 2 - Yeah, the teachers here at TAFE have given us a lot of encouragement and a lot of respect as Indigenous people and really push us.

Chris Anderson - It's important that we see and understand the challenges students face in their own community as well.

Robyn Canendo (education student - Remote Area Teacher Education Program) - We need to teach our children skills and how to interact with the wider community.

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Indigenous Remote Area Strategy for Cape, Gulf and Torres Strait

During 2009-10 the department provided training and support services to 143 workers in new and existing child care centres in remote Indigenous communities in North Queensland under the Indigenous Remote Area Strategy.

The strategy is a key component of the Children's Services Skilling Plan. The Inter-agency Communication Group provides direction and includes representatives from key agencies and community groups. This ensures that policy and operational issues are addressed to support high participation and completion outcomes.

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Indigenous Lighthouse Grants Project

The department, in collaboration with Arts Queensland, funded Indigenous Lighthouse Grants of up to $25 000 each. Indigenous Lighthouse Grants highlight exemplars of good practice in Indigenous education, training and arts by fostering innovation and collaboration across these areas. The aim is to increase cultural awareness and improve outcomes for Indigenous students. They are available to schools, TAFE institutes, individual artists and arts organisations that are able to demonstrate best practice in Indigenous programs.

In 2010, 37 applications were received and 12 grants were awarded. A total of $178 500 is to be distributed across the following projects:

  • Coming Together Vision: Student-led workshops at Murarrie State School
  • Yarrabah School Cultural Arts Exchange: Yarrabah State School
  • Mimosa Program: Burnett State College
  • Beyond Wanthala: Ipswich Girls' Grammar School
  • Many Hands - Making Mural: Wide Bay Institute of TAFE
  • The Djuwa Project: Upper Coomera State College
  • Western Cape Creative Industries: Western Cape College
  • Indigenous School-based Traineeship Project: DET - South East Region
  • Queensland Catholic Music Festival: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School
  • Cultural Heritage Restoration and Maintenance: Tagai State College
  • Rekindling the Fire at Mona Mona: Kuranda District State College
  • Songlines for Tomorrow: Gin Gin State High School.

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