New program makes Indigenous learning number one 


A specialist literacy and numeracy program is improving the outcomes of Indigenous students enrolled in vocational training in regional and remote areas.

Charles Darwin University, in conjunction with the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET), and the Department of Education, Science and Training (EST) joined together to improve resources and assessment of Indigenous students in regional and remote Australia.

‘Future Directions’ is funded by the DEET and DEST Joint Indigenous Funding Pool.

Launched in March, the three-year $400,000 program is improving delivery of training through the provision of practical and life skills for clients.

Without these skills, many Indigenous students are struggling to complete courses leading to social and economic consequences for their communities, outstations and homelands in their quest for self-sufficiency.

Bronte Cooper, project manager at CDU, said the program was an important bridge between job and life skills.

‘The course is about enhancing the training experience of clients by giving them the fundamental skills to help in practical employment their success,’ he said.

Aligned to nationally accredited programs, ‘Future Directions’ is delivered concurrently with the vocational training.

It received positive support from remote DEET field officers recently meeting in Katherine and is proposed to become an integral component in the delivery of vocational training and assessment for Indigenous students.

‘Future Directions’ represented the shared vision of DEET, DEST and CDU to improve the quality of life for many Indigenous people,’ Bronte said.

‘There’s no doubt of the enthusiasm of our clients to learn, and this program gives them the building blocks for their success and the practical skills they are gaining through VET training and assessment,’ he said.

Bill Daw, DEET field officer for the Katherine region, said the program provided a platform for the success of many students, giving them reason and incentive to complete their studies.

‘The innovative and practical approach utilised in this program will make their learning experience far more interesting and relevant,’ he said.