AMYAC members face many barriers to employment and training participation, these barriers include, but are not limited to factors such as geographic, social, economic, cultural, historic and political barriers. Retention is also an area for concern as without the right supports new trainees and new employees can and do leave prematurely. AMYAC believe
that with the right mentoring supports, and the proper training of employers and their supervision staff, retention rates can be greatly improved.


The objective of this strategy is to maximise employment and training opportunities and outcomes for AMYAC members, while improving retention rates. This can be achieved by targeted designing of programs and initiatives by AMYAC, while working with and influencing our partners and stakeholders.


AMYAC will use its influence and leverage with partners and stakeholders via partnerships and agreements to ensure they contain minimum AMYAC employment and training targets, business opportunities, culturally appropriate mentoring, workforce and supervisor training/education, targeted programs to all geographic areas with AMYAC membership concentrations, recognition of AMYAC and its preferred partnerships in tendering for contracting opportunities, Aboriginal staff development and workforce leadership, and performance monitoring and management.

The AMYAC Employment and Training Strategy involves working with partners and stakeholders to create supported pathways from unemployment to employment, and retention. Those pathways will address skills, experience and systemic barriers to participation.


No one program fits all, and AMYAC will need to work with its different partners and
stakeholders in different ways, but to achieve the same outcomes.
In order to address barriers to training and employment and retention rates, AMYAC believes
that there are some key foundational elements that must be included.
AMYAC Pathways Programs and other employment and training initiatives need to include
the following:

  • Must have wrap around mentoring from start to finish, with appropriate mentors that have genuine rapport and the trust of participants,
  • All training Must lead to real job outcomes,
  • All training and assessments Must include recognition of prior learning to eliminate training for training sake,
  • Employment and training outcomes Must be diverse and deliver outcomes either to the Community or the individual or both, and not centred upon a single industry or a limited set of skills,
  • That partnerships Must be centred upon building program capacity, outcome focussed and based upon the agreed and known inputs of all stakeholders,
  • That the programs and initiatives Must be designed by AMYAC, and
  • The programs and initiatives Must be implemented by AMYAC or its partners.

Programs and initiatives need to consider that participants will be at differing levels:

  • Level 1, Inexperienced, untrained and not job ready
  • Level 2, Inexperienced, trained and not job ready
  • Level 3, Inexperienced, trained and job ready
  • Level 4, Experienced, untrained and not job ready
  • Level 5, Experienced, trained and not job ready
  • Level 6, Experienced, trained and job ready

A participant’s level should assist in mapping out an individual pathway to an appropriate employment or training outcome.

Best Practice

As an example of how AMYAC’s strategy aligns with national developments in Indigenous employment and training, note that on 31 August 2022, the Hon Linda Burney MP Minister for Indigenous Australians hosted the Remote Employment Roundtable at National Indigenous Australians Agency in Canberra, ahead of the National Jobs and Skills Summit. Experts from unions, business, and First Nations representatives met to discuss key employment issues and opportunities in remote Australia.

Participants identified six key messages to share with the Jobs and Skills summit:

  • The importance of real jobs, with proper wages and decent conditions.
  • One size does not fit all. The new program needs to be community led, meeting community needs.
  • Pathways to work, including access to appropriate training, to ensure that people are job ready.
  • Unlocking the barriers for entry to jobs, in particular police checks and licensing.
  • Mapping of job opportunities within communities will be an important element in helping connect people to work.
  • The engagement and contribution of other government portfolios, all levels of government and industry will be important.

Michael Coughlan
Chief Executive Officer
June 2023