Policy

pattern

Economic participation

This year the Victorian Government has met its target of increasing the proportion of Aboriginal staff in the state’s public service to 1%. However, Aboriginal people continue to be under-represented in the workforce and on boards and committees.

Additionally, further work is required to bridge the income gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Headline indicator 6: Increase Aboriginal labour force participation 

Target: By 2018, halve the gap in employment outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Results are mixed.

While unemployment rates have decreased between 2011 and 2016, Aboriginal Victorians are still under-represented in the workforce, and over-represented in unemployment statistics.

In 2016, 57.8% of Aboriginal Victorians were participating in the labour force compared to 64.5% of non-Aboriginal Victorians, and 14% of Aboriginal Victorians were unemployed compared to 7% of non-Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2016, of those who were in the labour force, 50% of Aboriginal Victorians were employed full-time, compared to 57% of the total Victorian population.

Aboriginal Victorians living in regional areas are particularly vulnerable to unemployment. Just under half of Victoria’s Aboriginal population live in regional areas.

In 2014-15, 24.4% of Aboriginal people living in inner regional areas of Victoria were unemployed, compared to just 6.5% of non-Aboriginal Victorians living in the same region. This means that in inner regional areas, Aboriginal people are 3.8 times more likely to be unemployed than non-Aboriginal people.

In 2016, of those who were in the labour force, 50% of Aboriginal Victorians were employed full-time, compared to 57% of the total Victorian population.

 

Measure: The proportion of Aboriginal people in various income bands.

Lower workforce participation, lower likelihood of being in full-time employment and higher rate of living in a regional area are drivers of the persistent income gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2016, Aboriginal Victorians earned on average $165 less per week for individuals and $219 less per week for households than non-Aboriginal Victorians.

However, between 2011 and 2016 the median weekly income for Aboriginal Victorians grew by 22.8%, compared with a 14.8% increase for non-Aboriginal Victorians.

between 2011 and 2016 the median weekly income for Aboriginal Victorians grew by 22.8%, compared with a 14.8% increase for non-Aboriginal Victorians.

 

Headline indicator 7: Increase workforce participation by Aboriginal people in the public sector

Target: By 2018, employment of Aboriginal people in the Victorian public service will increase to 1% of total employees.

This target is on track.

In 2017, Aboriginal people represented around 1.1% of the VPS workforce. The number of Aboriginal staff employed in the VPS increased by 48.4% between 2015 and 2017.

A new target of 2% Aboriginal staff in the VPS by 2022 was set in 2017 under Barring Djinang, the five-year Aboriginal Employment Strategy for the Victorian public sector. Significant effort will be required to meet this new target by 2022.

In 2017, Aboriginal people represented around 1.1% of the VPS workforce. The number of Aboriginal staff employed in the VPS increased by 48.4% between 2015 and 2017.

 

Measure: The representation of Aboriginal people on boards and committees.

The proportion of Aboriginal Victorians represented on government boards and committees has decreased over the last four years from 1.1% in 2013-14, to 0.8% in 2016-17.

The proportion of Aboriginal Victorians represented on government boards and committees has decreased over the last four years from 1.1% in 2013-14, to 0.8% in 2016-17.

Supporting procurement from Aboriginal businesses.

The Victorian Government set a target of 1% of government procurement from small-to-medium enterprises to be from Victorian Aboriginal businesses. The target is to be achieved by 2019-20. Formal reporting against the target is currently unavailable, but will occur in 2019.

As an early indicator, from July 2017 to May 2018, the Victorian Government engaged in contracts with 59 Victorian Aboriginal businesses, identified by DEDJTR and Supply Nation, to the value of $17.7 million.

The Victorian Government set a target of 1% of government procurement from small-to-medium enterprises to be from Victorian Aboriginal businesses. The target is to be achieved by 2019-20. Formal reporting against the target is currently unavailable, but will occur in 2019.

Victorian Government reform

Aboriginal economic participation is a vital foundation for self-determination. The Victorian Government is committed to removing barriers to economic participation and working in partnership with Aboriginal Victorians as they advance their economic success.

The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board (the Board) was established in June 2016 to create jobs and opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians and Aboriginal Victorian businesses. It was a key commitment under the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy 2013-2020.

In the spirit of self-determination, the Board brings together Aboriginal community members, businesses, the corporate sector, and government to drive the delivery of the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy.

Through Tharamba Bugheen: Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy 2017–2021, the Victorian Government is partnering with Aboriginal businesses to ensure business support is accessible, improve the visibility and networks of Aboriginal businesses, and strengthen entrepreneurial culture and business experience. Tharamba Bugheen also established a 1% government procurement target from Aboriginal businesses, to be reported on from 2019-20.

The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy and Tharamba Bugheen are delivered in partnership with:

  • Kinaway – the Victorian Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce
  • the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations
  • the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board
  • the Aboriginal business sector and broader private sector.