Business Daily Media

Australia is missing the Closing the Gap employment target by decades

  • Written by Zoe Staines, Research Consultant; Research Assistant, Queensland University of Technology

Australia is missing its target to halve the unemployment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia by several decades, according to the latest Closing the Gap report[1].

The report also highlights many other problems with current Closing the Gap targets. For instance, the unemployment target misses other aspects of economic life, such as income. The targets need to be rethought so that they address economic well-being and more closely guide strategy and policies on the ground.

Read more: Closing the Gap results still lag, as Shorten pledges compensation fund for Stolen Generations[2]

The unemployment rate for Indigenous Australians is going down. But 2016 Census data[3] show that it will take until 2031 to halve the gap, and until about 2051 to close the gap entirely. Even New South Wales, which leads Australia on this measure, won’t meet the target until about 2026.

One reason why some states are doing better in tackling the unemployment gap is that different opportunities are available for urban and rural Australians. In 2014/15[4], only 5% of the NSW Indigenous population lived in remote areas. This compares to 21% nationally, 79% in the Northern Territory and 19% in Queensland.

Australia is missing the Closing the Gap employment target by decades CC BY-ND[5] Under the Indigenous Procurement Policy, 3% of all federal procurement contracts go to Indigenous businesses. This is a big part of the federal government’s plan to achieve the employment target. However, while there may be some success stories, a recent report[6] also warned that “the policy’s target measurement system greatly exaggerates its success”. For instance, in 2015-16 Indigenous suppliers won 2.9% of government contracts but these contracts accounted for only 0.94% of total procurement spending. Read more: Radical rethink of Closing the Gap required, despite some progress[7] The latest Closing the Gap report highlights the continued importance of Indigenous leadership in this space and the need for government to actually listen and truly partner, rather than just talk about it. Only through empowerment and ownership by Indigenous Australians will we see serious improvements against a revised Closing the Gap framework, or any other standard for that matter. Mere rhetoric is not, and never will be, enough. While Closing the Gap focuses on hitting a target employment rate, there are other aspects to economic well-being that are not considered. The framework fails to address the widening gap in weekly personal income[8] between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, for example. This shows that even if employment rates are improving, Indigenous Australians are still earning comparatively less. Economic well-being also collides with other facets of well-being in a number of ways. For instance, an adequate income means earning enough money to access quality health care and education. But it’s also important to derive satisfaction and meaning from employment. Read more: Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren't closing[9] There is also no clear strategy for how the targets filter down into ground-level approaches that are evidence-based and actually work. The federal government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy[10] tried to link activities to outcomes that aligned with the Closing the Gap targets, but was found[11] to have performed poorly across a number of areas. Without a stronger evidence base and a clearer strategy for how the targets are meant to inform on-the-ground policies and programs, we simply don’t know[12] which approaches to amplify and which to abandon. Read more: Closing the gap on Indigenous education must start with commitment and respect[13] The current process to refresh[14] the Closing the Gap targets and framework is under way and might consider some of these issues. However, it already faces problems with poor consultation and partnership. This is ironic, given the repeated sentiments of the last ten years of Closing the Gap reports that relationships are being strengthened. Although the latest report has shown that some areas are improving, there are many more metrics that show little or no change.

Authors: Zoe Staines, Research Consultant; Research Assistant, Queensland University of Technology

Read more http://theconversation.com/australia-is-missing-the-closing-the-gap-employment-target-by-decades-91648

Business Today

Utilising communication tech to alleviate employee burn out

Hybrid work solidified into the business model in 2021 – plain and simple. Jabra research revealed 42 per cent of employees last year requested leadership to help make their virtual workspace more comfortable. Employees are ...

Space Machines readies for liftoff securing launch services deal with SpaceX

SpaceX to carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle as part of its April 2023 mission. Optimus is one of the largest spacecraft built in Australia and furthers Australia’s sovereign capabilities toward in-space...

Deliver business benefits through operational excellence

As Australian businesses emerge from the pandemic lockdowns and draw up plans for growth, increasing numbers are adopting a strategy of operational excellence. Operational excellence involves everyone in an organisation and f...

Modern slavery conference to take on the criminal enterprises and address global injustices

Influential experts from around the world will take part in a unique international online summit targeting modern slavery being hosted by Australian charity Freedom for Humanity later this month. Modern slavery is a process...

Unit4 Appoints Tania Garrett as Chief People Officer

 Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for people-centric organisations, today announced the appointment of Tania Garrett as Chief People Officer. Tania will oversee the company’s people success function wh...

FIVE reasons why you should set up an instant office instead of a fixed lease

Australia is now on the cusp of very volatile economic period. As the world tries to pick up the pieces after two years of global lockdowns and constant setbacks, we continue to face the aftermath of COVID on many levels. Acc...

Business Daily Media Business Development

Utilising communication tech to alleviate employee burn out

Hybrid work solidified into the business model in 2021 – plain and simple. Jabra research revealed 42 per cent of employees last year requested leadership to help make their virtual wo...

David Piggott, Managing Director ANZ at Jabra - avatar David Piggott, Managing Director ANZ at Jabra

Space Machines readies for liftoff securing launch services deal with SpaceX

SpaceX to carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle as part of its April 2023 mission. Optimus is one of the largest spacecraft built in Australia and furthers Australia’...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

India's employee hostels are often like prisons – but young women garment workers don't always see it that way

Kavitha, 18, earns a living at a clothing factory in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Like many of her colleagues, she lives in accommodation provided by the factory, where she share...

Andrew Crane, Professor of Business and Society, University of Bath - avatar Andrew Crane, Professor of Business and Society, University of Bath

Shortage of workers threatens UK recovery – here’s why and what to do about it

For the first time since records began, there are more job vacancies in the UK than unemployed people, according to the latest monthly labour market figures. This has been driven mainly by a...

Donald Houston, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Portsmouth - avatar Donald Houston, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Portsmouth

A central bank digital euro could save the eurozone – here's how

Blockchain bailout?4K_HeavenThe European Central Bank and its counterparts in the UK, US, China and India are exploring a new form of state-backed money built on similar online ledger techno...

Guido Cozzi, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of St.Gallen - avatar Guido Cozzi, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of St.Gallen

Deliver business benefits through operational excellence

As Australian businesses emerge from the pandemic lockdowns and draw up plans for growth, increasing numbers are adopting a strategy of operational excellence. Operational excellence in...

Chris Ellis, Director Pre-Sales at Nintex - avatar Chris Ellis, Director Pre-Sales at Nintex



NewsServices.com

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion