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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Samuel Sutherland finds his career with assistance from TAEG

Samuel Sutherland finds his career with assistance from TAEG

Indigenous Affairs Employment
Wednesday, 10 April 2019

National Indigenous Australians Agency

Three men stand wearing predominantly orange work wear. The one in the middle is younger and wears a broad brimmed hat.

The Australian Government’s Tailored Assistance Employment Grants (TAEG) continues to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with sustainable jobs.

Ngarrindjeri man Samuel Sutherland has been employed with Wattle Range Council as an apprentice since 23 November 2016.

With the support of TAEG, Group Training Employment found this position for Samuel and enrolled him in the National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) school-based Indigenous Apprentice and Trainee program.

Initially he commenced as part of the Parks and Gardens Team one day a week while still attending school. Sam was then offered an increase in hours for a short time with the Maintenance Team to cover staff leave. After negotiating with the Millicent Community Learning Centre, he has been working full-time ever since.

Sam completed Year 12 and gained his South Australian Certificate of Education at the end of 2018. He also finalised his TAFE studies in Certificate III in Horticulture at the same time. The TAFE study, being a requirement of Sam’s employment, has been mostly done during work time.

To complete the SACE studies, he attended the Millicent Community Learning Centre in his own time, after hours on Monday nights and on his rostered days off. Towards the end of last year he was allowed to attend for a few days in work time to ensure his SACE was completed.

Samuel has always been one to get along well with his co-workers and enjoys his role within the team. Being competent at both manual work and machine operation, Sam’s attitude saw him soon become a valued contributor in the workplace. Sam has displayed strong workplace attendance and stayed focused on his goal to finish his studies.

During his apprenticeship, Sam attended Whitecard (OH&S) training, Workzone Traffic Management, and Operate and Maintain Chainsaws courses. He had just begun training towards obtaining his medium rigid (MR) truck licence before being offered a full-time position with Council.

It is believed by all involved that the TAEG funding provided as part of the NAEN School Based program was crucial in the creation of this employment opportunity that has greatly benefited Sam and his host employer.

Read more about Tailored Assistance Employment Grants which supports NAEN as it assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men and women to complete training and find full-time work.