Enhanced Aboriginal services and a new Jobs and Skills Centre

Building on its strong commitment to involve more Aboriginal people in frontline service delivery, the WA State Government has enhanced Aboriginal services at Jobs and Skills Centres (JSCs) across the State and today opened a new JSC at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Fremantle campus.

Strengthening JSC services for Aboriginal clients is part of the WA State Government’s commitments through its Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy and the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to deliver positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.

The new JSC at the campus on Fleet Street in Fremantle means there are now 19 JSCs located across Western Australia. JSCs are a centrepiece of the McGowan Government’s priorities to increase training and employment of Aboriginal people and other groups under-represented in the workforce and to build a sustainable local workforce. Available to all members of the community, JSCs provide a one-stop-shop for local job seekers wanting free support to connect with training and job opportunities and employers. JSC services include specialist services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which have been enhanced through an $8.14 million investment.

Approximately 30 Aboriginal employment and engagement officers are employed across the JSC network who work closely with employers and other key service providers in their area to integrate services and maximise training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal clients and to ensure culturally appropriate employment and career services are provided. Employers and businesses are encouraged to get in touch with their nearest JSC for support to increase their engagement with the Aboriginal community and to create a more culturally aware workplace that can attract and retain more Aboriginal employees.

Internal signage at the Fremantle Jobs and Skills Centre.
Staff at the opening ceremony at Fremantle Jobs and Skills Centre.

Other enhancements include the inclusion of more Aboriginal artwork to ensure the JSCs provide a culturally supportive, vibrant and welcoming space for Aboriginal staff and clients, where community members and employers can meet, and find local information and resources. Providing greater opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in the workforce and benefit from Western Australia’s strong economic growth emerged as a strong theme at the Perth and Regional Skills Summits. Establishing additional Aboriginal Services, including at Perth metropolitan JSCs at Fremantle and Perth TAFE campuses, will enhance opportunities for Aboriginal people to engage in sustainable employment and help meet the State’s skills shortages and growing workforce demand.

In April 2023, as part of its commitment to providing state-wide jobs and skills support, the McGowan Government announced the opening of a new JSC in Collie. This followed the August 2022 opening of two new JSCs in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, located at North Regional TAFE's Kununurra and Pundulmurra campuses.

Contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or visit the locations page for more information www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/jobs-and-skills-centre

“Current skills shortages provide an opportunity to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in Western Australia’s workforce, which is a priority of the McGowan Government. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “The enhancement of Aboriginal services at state-wide Jobs and Skills Centres will help to provide a seamless experience for Aboriginal jobseekers looking for sustainable employment and for their prospective employers. The location of our newest Jobs and Skills Centre, the port city of Fremantle, is a hub for a range of industries, including the in demand retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, and is home to people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, including Aboriginal communities. “If you’re looking to enter training or work, or are part of a business wanting to connect with jobseekers or training to upskill your workforce, get in touch with your local Jobs and Skills Centre for free and friendly support.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti added “The McGowan Government is committed to Australia’s reconciliation movement and to ensuring Aboriginal people benefit from Western Australia’s strong economic growth. “Ensuring Aboriginal people are involved in front line service delivery and in providing culturally appropriate and specialised services for prospective students and employers are key for maximising training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. “Through a coordinated approach, strengthened engagement and the potential to provide outreach services, Jobs and Skills Centres are a centrepiece of the McGowan Government’s priorities to increase Aboriginal training and employment.”

Read the full media statement here