This year the Australian Government expanded their popular Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP) again, with more Government agencies offering more positions to Indigenous apprentices.
The entry level program offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians an opportunity to start their career in the public service.
The 12 month programme provides a full-time entry level position with the Department of Human Services or one of 14 other participating Government agencies in city and regional locations.
Successful applicants will receive a salary and a nationally recognised certificate or diploma qualification.
Thomas Hodge was working as a mechanic before he joined the Department of Defence as an Indigenous apprentice in 2015.
“I decided it was time for a career change so applied for the IAP,” he said.
“It was challenging going from a physical job to one that is quite intellectual, but I really enjoy my role! I work with a great team of people as a Project Officer in the Woomera Prohibited Area Coordination Office.”
Participants in the IAP complete a Certificate IV or Diploma as part of the programme, something Ashlen Foster-Britton, an apprentice working for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was drawn to.
“The IAP gave me the opportunity to combine both work and study,” she said.
“I’m really interested in Government so completing a Diploma of Government as part of the programme was a perfect fit for me.”
Jenny Moorhead joined the Department of Human Services as part of the programme in 2015 and doesn’t hesitate when asked what she enjoys about her role as a Service Officer in the Darwin Service Centre.
“I love going to work and helping people. Even if it’s in the smallest way, I get to help somebody every day and that feels good,” she said.
For Jenny, one of the best parts of the programme is the support she receives from her Indigenous mentor Kezia.
“Kezia and I connected from day dot! She’s supported me in so many different ways and helped me balance family and work,” Jenny said.
“Now I’d love to be a mentor; after having such a great experience with Kezia I’d love to give back.”
Jenny’s advice for anyone thinking of applying for the programme is simple.
“Just believe in yourself! If you’re given the opportunity to join the IAP, take it and give it your best. Everyone’s happy to support you and it’s a great programme.”
Applications for the IAP close 11 April 2017.
Feature image: Jenny on her graduation day for the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme.
Read more about the Indigenous Apprenticeship Programme.