Page 5827 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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equal employment opportunity initiative prescribed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 and standards. The traineeship is an entry-level program. A pilot 12-month program was held in 2008. That program placed 15 trainees in several ACT government agencies. Eleven trainees successfully completed the program and gained full-time permanent positions within the ACT government.

The traineeship program aims to offer at least 15 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ACT public service careers following the successful completion of a training program and workplace commitments over a 12-month period. Participants who successfully complete the program and meet their workplace commitments during the 12 months may be advanced to a higher position, an ASO2, in the ACT public service without a further merit selection process. The trainee would be promoted within the same agency where they undertook their traineeship.

A third round of the traineeship is currently in progress, with all trainees recently completing a nationally recognised qualification, certificate III or IV in government. Trainees are due to graduate in April 2012. Recruitment for the 2012-13 round of the traineeship will commence early in 2012.

Education—Indigenous students

MS HUNTER: What initiatives will be implemented to raise the attendance rates of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in year 7, which are amongst the lowest in the country according to the most recent performance against national reform agreement indicators?

DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. The attendance rate in year 7 rose to 83 per cent in 2010 compared with 79 per cent in 2009. The regular attendance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is a focus for the directorate. There are seven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education officer positions based in high schools to support high schools and local primary schools.

Currently two positions remain unfilled. Advertising for these positions is not possible until the current EBA is finalised. The focus of these positions is to improve participation; support primary to high school transition and high school to college transition; and establish a connection and build relationships between schools and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. The schools in which the education officers are based are Calwell high school, Wanniassa senior campus, Melrose high, Stromlo high, Telopea Park school, Lyneham high school, and Melba Copland secondary school.

A transitions officer has been employed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have been identified as requiring additional support with all the transitions. The directorate is looking to extend this position for a further 12 months in 2012. The north Canberra-Gungahlin school network has also agreed to a whole-of-network approach to improving transitions, and there is work to identify the consistent steps which will be used to transition all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

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