THE state government is listening to Bendigo organisations to develop a new Aboriginal employment strategy.
Traditional Owners, employment organisations, and government representatives participated in a Bendigo roundtable last week, which was one of nine happening across the state.
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation director Liz Allen said it was an opportunity for the government to understand the gaps in the employment services system so they could be addressed in the next Victorian Aboriginal Employment and Economic Strategy.
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"The Victorian state government is recognising that every program is not necessarily tailored to support Aboriginal jobseekers," she said.
"The importance of these roundtables is to recognise that Aboriginal organisations can play a major part in supporting the Aboriginal community to participate in the open labour market. Aboriginal services are best placed to provide support to Aboriginal people.
"They want to partner with Aboriginal organisations to enable them to support their own community to increase Aboriginal employment into the public and private sectors, creating long-term, meaningful outcomes for Aboriginal people in the workforce."
Ms Allen, who facilitated the Bendigo roundtable, said Aboriginal community organisations like the Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative and Traditional Owner corporations like Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation were the largest employers of Aboriginal people.
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"They contribute millions to the regional economy," Ms Allen said. "The roundtables are aimed to understand the priorities and issues in order to provide additional investment in Aboriginal community organisations to support Aboriginal jobseekers into work."
Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford said the state government wanted to learn more from people on the ground.
"Victoria's First Nations people, particularly those in communities like Bendigo, need access to sustainable jobs and training opportunities as the economy continues to recover," she said.
"It's really important that the new strategy has community input, which is why we want local people to participate and have their say."
Ms Allen said a design of the Victorian Aboriginal Employment and Economic Strategy was due to be released at the end of the year.
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