A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED initiative connecting Indigenous Australians to meaningful employment is powering ahead with four new Vocational Education and Training Centres (VTEC) soon opening in Queensland’s resources hubs to ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous employment.

Beginning as Fortescue Metals Group’s own Indigenous employment program, the VTEC initiative has grown to become one of the nation’s most renowned opportunities for Indigenous Australians to gain meaningful, long-term employment.

Operating with the support and involvement of local Indigenous communities and their leaders, the program guarantees employment to its participants before they commence job-specific training, ensuring they are skilled for the employment they pursue.

Now funded nationally with a $45 million commitment from the Australian Government, the portfolio of now 25 VTEC centres will aim to train 5000 Indigenous Australians for guaranteed employment with a broad scope of participating companies.

AMMA executive director Tara Diamond said the mining, oil and gas sectors were among those leading the charge for Indigenous participation.

“Though the resource industry is transitioning toward a new era of production, skills shortages are still very much a reality for many employers in the resource industry,” Ms Diamond said.

“Becoming an employer with the national VTEC program is a powerful and rewarding way of helping to fill these skills shortages with specially trained and qualified Indigenous Australians.

“As the national resource employer group, AMMA strong supports every measure to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous employment and connect with Indigenous communities.”

Leading resource services group Sodexo is already on board with the VTEC initiative. Read their story in the Summer edition of Resource People magazine.

AMMA members are encouraged to get on board with the VTEC initiative. For more information, click here.