Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Minister welcomes Aboriginal trainees to Ministry of Housing

    3/08/2000 3:46 PM

    Thirteen new Aboriginal trainees have joined the Ministry of Housing.

    Housing and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Kim Hames welcomed the trainees during a special ceremony today.

    The trainees joined a growing list of Aboriginal people who began careers in the public sector through the award-winning traineeship program.

    “Up to a quarter of the Ministry’s customers are Aboriginal and it is essential that staff understand and empathise with one of its largest client base,” Dr Hames said.

    “When the Aboriginal Traineeship Program began in 1998 only 1.5 per cent of the Ministry’s workforce were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

    “We set a target of 10 per cent, which was reached fairly quickly.

    “That has since settled at 8.25 per cent because, in many cases, staff have moved on to other agencies such as Health, Education, Police and Family and Children’s Services, where they are fulfilling great needs.

    “Currently there are 72 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people employed in the Ministry of Housing, which is more than four times the representation in the public sector workforce.”

    Dr Hames said he looked forward to the day when it would be unremarkable for Aboriginal people to be trainees or apprentices.

    “It is a fact of life that at the moment unemployment among Aboriginal people is higher than among the general population and education standards are lower than the norm,” he said.

    “So, it is in this context that I am pleased to welcome the trainees, and wish them every success during their traineeship.”

    Media contact: Mike Groves 9424 7450