Locally led approaches are needed to solve remote employment issues
Unemployment poses a big issue for many communities in remote and very remote Australia. To their detriment, previous policy designed and implemented to help people into the workforce has proven relatively unsuccessful in these places.
To solve these issues, the RAI has recommended government create more flexible policy solutions that better suit the diversity found in remote Australia, while providing local people with genuine power to determine how policy works in their community.
Prime Minister and Cabinet have put forward three new policy options in their discussion paper Remote Employment and Participation. The RAI have identified a number of issues with the proposed solutions that are addressed in our response to the discussion paper titled, Creating locally appropriate policy for remote communities.
The RAI has concerns that all three models are quite similar, not only to each other, but other existing and previous models. This means that it is unlikely the proposed models will make any substantial change to unemployment in remote Australia.
One major issue with the suggested policy is that it, like previous approaches, applies a blanket approach to fixing the problem, without acknowledging that different employment opportunities exist in different places, and every area has its own set of unique social, cultural and economic circumstances that impact these opportunities.
For example, the Pilbara region, that has a high number of people in full time employment and where most jobs are in the mining and construction industries, would need a different fix to an area like the Kimberley region, that has a smaller proportion of residents in full time employment, and a more diverse range of industries including health, education and training, and public administration.
To find out more about the proposed policy solutions and our recommendations read the full submission here.
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