Group Training Western Australia an employment alternative PDF Print E-mail

The Western Australian Group Training - Aboriginal Employment Career Development Strategy was implemented in April 1995, with Lester Coyne appointed as State Coordinator. The strategy aims to increase the access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into permanent employment. In its first year of operation, the scheme has already achieved second year targets.

Group Training Australia comprises a national network of more than 100 not for profit' companies which aim to foster skills development,. These companies employ about 15.000 apprentices and trainees. Based on regions or specific industries, the companies provide vocational training in a wide range of occupations. The companies employ groups of apprentices and trainees and "lease" them to businesses which act as "host" employers for agreed periods.

The project is unusual and distinct from the familiar Training Aboriginal Persons program in that GTA becomes the employer covering workers compensation, superannuation. wages. tax and all administration. The host employer pays on periodical invoice to GTA a proportional amount of the weekly wage not more than 50% for hire of employees under the strategy. As the apprentice is endentured to Group Training, the employer is relieved of the responsibility of locating ongoing employment should the business be unable to continue with the agreement.

Lester sees potential for many organisations involved with FATSIL to greatly benefit from involvement with the scheme, especially in view of proposed funding cut-backs. Centres wishing to maintain current, staff numbers while dependant on reduced ATSIC funds would find obvious advantages in the 50% subsidy and administration offered through GTA.

The scheme is administered and structured differently in each state and Lester can assist WA enquiries and is happy to provide contact numbers for other states.