The 12 month long Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP) offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians an opportunity to start their full-time careers in the public service and gain a nationally recognised qualification.
Butchulla Indigenous graduate, Duane Blackman, completed his apprenticeship with the Department of Human Services as part of the 2016 intake and spoke about his experience during his Graduation ceremony held in Canberra.
“Our journey in the last 12 months has been both challenging and rewarding,” Duane said.
“A lot of our ideas were challenged and our expectations exceeded. We have laughed, we have cried. At times, we were a little lost.
“But you know what. Here we are.”
The entry-level employment and development programme, which provides a tailored approach to learning based on academic and cultural requirements, supported more than 190 Indigenous apprentices to graduate across ten departments this year, including the Department of Human Services.
Opportunities offered by the IAP include a full time entry level position, competitive salary and a nationally recognised Certificate IV or diploma.
“We are here because of the support from our buddies, mentors, team leaders and managers, and most importantly because of the support of our families and each other,” Duane said.
“We have been given great training opportunities. And with this, we’ve been able to become valued team members. Not only in our service centres, but within our zones and the department as a whole.
“This experience has given me a great sense of pride, obligation and responsibility, not only to myself, but also my family and community.”
As a result of the 2017 intake of Indigenous apprentices in October this year, the Department of Human Services reached an Indigenous workforce milestone target of 5 per cent.
- Find out more about the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme.