Reform of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program in the Torres Strait - Budget 2010-11

Key Elements

  • The Australian Government is providing $44.3 million over four years to reform the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program in the Torres Strait. These reforms contribute to the Council of Australian Governments’ target to halve the gap between Indigenous and non‑Indigenous employment within a decade.
  • The CDEP program helps Indigenous job seekers to gain the skills, training and capabilities needed to find sustainable employment and improve the economic and social wellbeing of their communities.
  • These reforms will align the CDEP program in the Torres Strait with reforms to the national CDEP program that commenced in other areas of Australia from 1 July 2009. The reforms will ensure national consistency in the CDEP program and that, from 1 July 2012, CDEP participants in the Torres Strait have the same incentives and participation requirements as participants in the rest of Australia.
  • The reforms have an increased focus on work readiness, getting more Indigenous people into jobs where opportunities exist, extending local training opportunities and promoting community development.
  • The introduction of the reforms will be staged over two years to ensure that individuals, businesses and the Torres Strait community have adequate time to adjust.
  • Under the reformed CDEP program:
    • CDEP and Jobs Services Australia providers will provide training tailored to the needs of the community and Torres Strait businesses
    • case management will support individuals to develop plans to find employment and take up training opportunities
    • CDEP providers will work with their communities to develop community action plans that support the needs and aspirations of the communities
    • resources and support will be provided to deliver the community projects that are identified in the plans and engage CDEP participants in the delivery
    • CDEP providers will receive support to build their own skills and capacity to deliver the new approach to work readiness and community development, and better assist the development of social and economic opportunities in communities
    • jobs in government service delivery offering award wages, access to superannuation, training and professional development will be created from positions previously funded under CDEP.
  • The reformed CDEP program will focus on:
    • work readiness skills including literacy and numeracy training, basic work and vocational skills, on-the-job work experience and job placements
    • community development to support priority projects, active engagement of local people and strengthening the capacity of communities and local organisations.
  • The reforms include the conversion of positions delivering Australian, Queensland or local government services currently funded under CDEP to jobs offering award wages, access to superannuation, training and professional development.
    • From 1 July 2010, 237 Australian Government positions will be formally converted. These positions cover the delivery of environmental and cultural management, aged care, sport, recreation, child care and education services in the region.
    • Queensland and local government positions will be converted from 1 July 2011.

Background

  • Community consultations and information sessions were held across the Torres Strait in September 2009.  Issues raised in these consultations are being addressed including through the staged implementation of the reforms allowing time for individuals, businesses and the community to adjust.

Implementation

  • The first stage will be implemented from 1 July 2010. During this stage:
    • the reformed national CDEP program rules for registration and employment service arrangements will be applied
    • 237 jobs in Australian Government service delivery will be created
    • the Torres Strait Regional Authority will work with businesses to improve sustainable employment opportunities for CDEP participants.
  • The second stage will be implemented from 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2012. During this stage:
    • new entrants to the CDEP program will receive Income Support payments instead of wages
    • from 1 April 2012 CDEP participants who are receiving wages will gradually move onto Income Support and CDEP wages will cease from 1 July 2012.
    • jobs for the delivery of state and local government services will be created from positions currently subsidised by CDEP, offering award wages, access to superannuation, training and professional development.

Total Government Funding

  • The Australian Government is providing $44.3 million over four years to implement and support these reforms.
Content Updated: 23 May 2012