Confidence is building for indigenous MSC staff at Areyonga and Finke thanks to CDU and the WELL Program.
A new program delivered to a Central Australian shire is giving aboriginal workers greater confidence in the workplace.
MacDonnell Shire, covering 268,867 square kilometres of Southern Central Australia is working with Charles Darwin University (CDU) to deliver a Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program to around 60 indigenous staff.
Earlier in the year a Skills Audit was completed throughout shire communities to ascertain the training and development needs for MacDonnell Shire Council (MSC) community staff. MSC and CDU prepared a joint submission that secured funding to conduct the WELL program which commenced in August 2010 and will continue through till July 2011.
The program involves using the day-to-day tasks of staff members as part of the course to develop language, literacy and numeracy skills which will improve their confidence, job retention and opportunities for promotion.
More than 60 staff have been enrolled in the program from across administrative, technical and hands-on roles that include a mix of classroom and on-the-job training methods.
The program is being delivered at the Finke/Aputula and Areyonga/Utju communities outside of Alice Springs with lecturers delivering training in weekly blocks. It is being delivered by CDU who have based themselves at the communities for weekly training blocks.
Charles Darwin University Team Leader for Language and Literacy, Ms Sharon Gilbert said the program was bringing results to the council.
"Fundamental to the success of this program has been the close and ongoing collaboration and consultation between CDU and MacDonnell Shire. Without the Shires full support, CDU lecturers would not have been able to provide relevant and meaningful workplace training to their employees.”
MacDonnell Shire Coordinator Indigenous Employment & Training, Dave Kelly said that the ‘WELL Program’ aims to build capacity in the targeted communities through training designed to develop/extend the language, literacy and numeracy skills of staff.
“It will be the foundation to support the aspirational vision outlined in the MacDonnell Shire Council ‘Shire Plan 2010-2014’ of economic development through enhanced employment opportunities in remote communities by having skilled and experienced local people building community capacity”.