A unique initiative is offering employment pathways for indigenous youth within the commercial construction industry.

The On-Country Pathways is a new Indigenous owned non-for-profit organisation based in Albury-Wodonga on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.

It connects Indigenous youths aged 15-24 in high schools, TAFE and universities to local businesses, providing work experience, placement, and cadetships free of charge.

Project founder and Wiradjuri man Jebb Hutchison said it would foster long term employment opportunities.

“Our programs are about building individual knowledge, skills and attitudes that lead to ongoing employment and careers,” he said.

New data reveals how far we have to go for Indigenous equality in the workplace

The initiative serves as a step towards progression in indigenous employment following last month’s Woort Koorliny Australian Indigenous Employment Index which found employers failed to retain indigenous employees when compared to their non-indigenous colleagues.

Thursday saw the announcement of the first education and training partner of the program, the Wodonga-based Community Career Connections initiative which is a collaboration between Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Wodonga TAFE.

It will refer Indigenous youth from Wodonga, Alpine, Indigo and Towong to the On Countries Pathway programs.

  • Story by James Italia-Prasad