The ALPA Community Development Program (CDP) works at Galiwin’ku, Yurrwi and Ramingining communities in training and job placement programs through funding allocated by the Australian Government department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Our CDP services have been hugely successful, acknowledged as the best in Australia by the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, achieving employment outcomes far beyond CDP Services in other regions. Developing local industries and building local capacity, our CDP programs are a cornerstone of building jobs for the future for the communities in which we operate.
Our yolŋu CDP supervisors are the backbone of our whole model. We have a collaborative planning model, where supervisors and CDP participants come up with the project plans, building a grass roots approach that is driven from participants. This builds engagement through people working on projects that are meaningful to themselves.
Our site managers work with the plans developed to create and manage budgets within the allowances of funding guidelines. One of the reasons the CDP has been so successful is that we use a compliance model to stimulate disengaged people from engaging with the program. For participants, this might involve a compliance action from Centrelink, where payments are delayed until they engage with the program. Whilst some providers have shied away from this approach, many participants have later said they were grateful for being given the extra impetus to break out of the cycle of dependancy.
In our CDP team, we employ about 80 people, 60 or whom are local indigenous employees. The strength of our yolŋu team and investing in mentoring and training for our yolŋu supervisors has allowed for the success of the overall program.
Doors to Jobs
The aim of this program was to create maintenance people who could report on the condition of specific properties, create maintenance programs and carry out the actual maintenance where required. This training included trainers from Swinburne University delivering a Certificate 3 in Remote Area Building Repairs and Maintenance to Ramingining, Yurrwi and Galiwin’ku. This program has been hugely successful in creating a skilled workforce and placing people into employment. The program also won the ‘Best Community Engagement Award’ at the 2016Business/Higher Education Round Table awards in 2016.
Since ALPA took over the CDP services at Galiwin’ku, it has gone from one of the lowest performing CDP sites in the country to one of the top sites in the country. The Galiwin’ku site achieved a lot of successful job outcomes during the rebuild of housing following Cyclone Lam. Our program has also placed many people into jobs developed through our joint venture business Bukmak Constructions. The site also launched Galiwin’ku Made in 2016, creating furniture, jewellery, art and clothing for sale in the local community to build a skilled workforce.
Our CDP Services at Yurrwi have been working in partnership with Swinburne University to provide trades training. They have also provided training in literacy skills, Media and horticultural work. This includes a hydroponic greenhouse established in partnership with FoodLadder, Rulku Lodge and Dinybulu Services. Some of these people have been employed through the ALPA store, Bukmak Constructions, Rulku Lodge and the RSAS program as well as other local employers.
The Ramingining CDP services have achieved the highest participation rate in Australia, at times peaking over 90% participation, and averaging over 70% consistently. This is compared to an average national average participation rate of 30%. Workers have been trained and employed through ALPA Retail, RSAS and Dinybulu Regional services, as well as other local employers.