Latrobe City’s employment program recognised

Latrobe City Council has been recognised for its work to support indigenous residents in gaining employment in Canberra on Tuesday, winning a national award.

Council’s ‘Steps to the Future Indigenous Employment Program’ won the Youth Employment Category and the overall National Award for Excellence at the 2014 National Awards for Local Government.

Mayor Sharon Gibson said the program aimed to increase employment prospects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Gippsland region with a particular focus on youth.

The program uses role models and mentors to focus on matching skills and interest with jobs.

Councillor Gibson said it not only supported people looking for work, but also helped employers, providing cross-cultural advice to prepare businesses to employ Indigenous Australians.

She said since the program began in 2002 it had helped more than 350 people find jobs, attributing the success to the main drivers; council officers Joanne Brunt and Steve Tong.

“When I accepted the award, with the two officers, I acknowledged it was their work. Council has a statement of commitment and this is actually putting it into action,” Cr Gibson said.