Skillinvest has partnered with Victoria Police and the Victorian State Government to provide employment pathway opportunities for secondary school students that identify as indigenous. The program is delivered via the school based traineeship program as a state wide initiative in Victoria.
Funded by Jobs Victoria, students are studying a certificate III business administration traineeship. The program provides students with exposure to an office-based environment in an operating police station to be completed over 2 years.
Currently 30 trainees have commenced in 24 police stations across Melbourne and Victoria. Stage one of the funding will eventually see 60 trainees commence over a four year period.
The trainees receive their formal training from Skillinvest who have appointed two dedicated trainers that are based from their Horsham and Dandenong offices; one of these trainers is a proud Torres Strait Islander. This support is in addition to the traditional Group Training mentoring program where each trainee has an assigned Skillinvest Apprenticeship Consultant that ensures progress in maintained at all times.
A significant body of work leading to the commencement of this program was undertaken to build the trust of all interested parties that included the aboriginal communities, families, schools and students. Many of the participating students have long-term aspirations of joining the police force and have welcomed this opportunity by demonstrating a high level of maturity and commitment across all aspects of their school and now work life.
Not only does the program provide training and employment opportunities for indigenous youth it also provides an opportunity to challenge some of the cultural barriers between the indigenous communities and the Victoria Police.
The second stage of the funding aims to place 100 indigenous people into sustainable employment by mid-2020. These placements are to be targeted in the East Gippsland and Wimmera regions specifically, with the majority to be placed within East Gippsland. Skillinvest have employed an Indigenous Employment Officer out of Bairnsdale to drive this program in that region.
Skillinvest look forward to seeing positive outcomes for both the Victoria Police and local Indigenous communities through the success of this program.