The Australian Government is creating pathways for Indigenous Australians to start a career in the public service through the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP).
The 12 month programme provides a full-time entry level position, competitive salary and a nationally recognised certificate or diploma qualification at the end. One of this year’s apprentices, Rachel, says she was attracted to the programme because it was an apprenticeship.
“I’ve always viewed apprenticeships as a fantastic opportunity to learn on the job while earning good money and receiving invaluable ongoing support,” she said.
Rachel, who is working for the Department of Human Services as a Service Officer in Tasmania, enjoys her new role.
“After a few different types of work and study experiences, I was looking for a full-time job that was the right fit for me. A friend told me about the IAP and I submitted an application,” she said.
“I really enjoy the work environment and helping customers over the phone! It’s a really good fit for me.”
The programme partners each apprentice with an Indigenous buddy and an Indigenous mentor. Samantha, an apprentice working for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, said she always feels connected and supported in her role.
“It’s been invaluable to receive support from apprentices in different departments across the country. We keep in regular contact via email and social media and I know if I have a problem, help’s just a phone call,” she said.
Another Indigenous Apprentice from this year’s programme, Neil, says he was thrilled when he found out he’d won a spot in the IAP.
“I’m a people person so I was excited to get placed in a face to face service centre environment. Working as a Service Officer has been really rewarding as I often help people who are at their lowest,” he said.
For Neil, one of the best parts of the programme is the support he receives from his colleagues, both at work and in his personal endeavours.
“AFL is something I am really passionate about and I play locally for the Wanderers Football Club and at state level for the Northern Territory,” Neil said.
“Everyone at work has been encouraging of my AFL commitments and as Darwin’s a small town I often see my work mates at the footy.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the IAP and I’d encourage anyone to apply.”
Applications for the IAP close 11 May 2016.
Read more about the Indigenous Apprenticeship Programme.