Educating indigenous people for employment in Australian mining: the Rio Tinto Alcan initiative at Nhulunbuy
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The persistent labour market disadvantages of Indigenous people in remote regions of Australia attracts resurgence of interest in their employment in the minerals industry. This paper describes and presents achievements of an educational-vocational programme that is conducted at the remote centre of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia for Indigenous Yolngu people. The initiative is conducted by Rio Tinto Alcan personnel in association with the Charles Darwin University, the NT Ministry of Education, and relevant training/accreditation bodies. Presented material identifies a diversity of issues for initiatives to improve Indigenous employment, and challenges the prevailing assumption Indigenous people will pursue their socio economic independence through employment in the minerals industry. Concluding comments advance the notion pathways to short term and long term benefits are linked to greater understanding and appreciation of the expectations of all stakeholders.
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