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Opportunity to break Indigenous employment barrier

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An Indigenous-owned service company will team up with Singleton Council this month to present a rare opportunity for the region’s First Nations people.

The Steven Fordham-founded Blackrock Industries, which provides workers and equipment to mining and civil projects across the Hunter Valley, is joining forces with council’s Indigenous employment pathways advisor Sam Robinson to host a feed and a yarn at the Singleton Heights Sports Centre, from 11am until 1pm, on Wednesday 20 July. 

The barbecue offers a chance for the local First Nations community to get together to talk about the prospects and barriers to jobs and work in Singleton.

Council’s director organisation and community capacity Vicki Brereton said residents could learn more about the Indigenous Employment Pathways Program (IEPP).

Funded by the NSW Government’s Resources for Regions and an initiative of council and Business Singleton, the IEPP partners with indigenous groups, employment service providers, schools, training establishments and providers, state and federal bodies, DESE Hunter Employment Facilitator, industry and community organisations to help Singleton residents access new opportunities locally.

“This is a specialist Employment Pathways program for Indigenous people comprising two components: the first to understand the community’s needs in terms of barriers to employment, what employment pathway opportunities are available, and understanding what services are available to support those employment pathways,” Ms Brereton said.

“The other part is to connect those members of the community who are looking for opportunities with dedicated Aboriginal services and wider networks to put them on the right path to securing long-term employment.”

Mrs Brereton said the pathways could include employment, school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.

“The program is open to youth, transitioning workers, those already working but looking to upskill, mature workers seeking new opportunities, mothers or fathers returning to work and Aboriginal small business, both start up and established,” she explained.

“We’ve already made some strong relationships with services in the community and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together as part of this program.

“The real success will be measured by those getting involved.

“I hope people looking for culturally-appropriate services and employers will come along to meet Sam and learn about how the program can help you.”

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