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Funding to link Aboriginal students to Hunter mining jobs

21-Jan-2015

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello and Member for Upper Hunter George Souris today announced a $300,000 grant for an education and work skills programme for Aboriginal students in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Mr Dominello said the funding, which had been awarded to the Aboriginal Resource Group (ARG), would support a programme starting in Term 1 2015 focused on mentoring, career awareness training, leadership and vocational skills. The funding runs for two years.

This programme will help local students to establish links with the mining industry and its supply chain companies and enable them to participate in field trips to gain a better understanding of the career opportunities which exist in the industry, Mr Dominello said.

The ARG's role will be to work with local schools in order to provide individualised support for students who have an interest in developing a career in the resources sector.

This month's State Final Demand figures showed NSW is propping up the national economy as the only state to record positive growth for the September quarter.

We must seize on our State's strong economic position to recruit and train more young Aboriginal people in the Hunter for jobs in the resources industry - and that's exactly what we are seeking to do through this funding.

Mr Souris, who welcomed the announcement, said the ARG had strong connections in the resources industry and good links to the local Aboriginal community.

ARG staff will work in partnership with the Upper Hunter Opportunity Hub and the NSW Minerals Council to help boost employment opportunities for local Aboriginal students.

The resources industry in this region requires a constant stream of ambitious young people to fill roles including machinery operators, geologists, mechanics and engineers.

More than 100 Aboriginal students, from years 5 to 12, are already engaged in the Opportunity Hub and this provides a strong foundation for ARG to work with these students to secure training and mentoring opportunities in the mining industry.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee welcomed the announcement of funding for the education and skills program to be delivered by the ARG.

The mining industry is delighted that the Trust funds are at last being spent for the benefit of Aboriginal communities in the Upper Hunter.

This project will link Aboriginal students with the mining sector and its supply chain which is a great step toward strengthening Aboriginal employment in the mining sector.

ARG Managing Director Cory Robertson said, ARG will provide support to for Aboriginal students to become "complete players" in the jobs market, setting a strong foundation for positive lifestyle choices and sustainable employment opportunities.

Mr Dominello said the project had been funded by the Upper Hunter Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Trust, which was established to provide funds from mining companies to be used for the benefit of Aboriginal cultural heritage in the Upper Hunter Valley region.

Media: Matt Dawson 0427 145 575


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