EXPLORING what it means to be a modern indigenous person in the workforce is at the centre of a new employment program in Ballarat.
Deadly Yakka is working to boost indigenous employment rates across the region working closely with job seekers and raising awareness among interested industries.
MatchWorks indigenous liaison officer Chris Delamont said lingering effects of the past, like the Stolen Generation, continued to play out in modern indigenous barriers to work.
"We work through a set of tools and present them with 'this is what you can do for an easier transition'," Mr Delamont said. "We want this to be cultural safe.
"...While the focus is on employment, this is a holistic program. We also look at housing, financially where they are - while we're facilitating training we try and prioritise how else we can help."
The two-week program focuses on self-awareness, motivation and practical skills, like job interview techniques and resume writing.
About 10 clients are taking part in the Ballarat program.
Mr Delamont said it was important to empower participants in their employability, with a little assistance, so there is a strong sense of self-achievement when they land a job or interview.
The program also involves art therapy and connections to culture, which for Mr Delamont said could often be lacking in participants.
Deadly Yakka has been running nationwide since 2014 with an 80 per cent employment success rate after the program. Mr Delamont said for those who did not achieve immediate employment, the program identified help in overcoming barriers to work to get participants on the right path to future employment.
"We listen to what clients want to do and where they want to go," Mr Delamont said. "We want it to be sustainable long-term."
MatchWorks involves national employers and had a further six grassroots employers interested in the Ballarat program.
Mr Delamont said the program aimed to help employers understand better cultural reasons for potential fall-outs - for example, why an indigenous employee might not turn up to work - to foster long-term employment.
Deadly Yakka is run by employment service provider MatchWorks and delivered with Ballarat Community Health. The program finishes with a graduation later this week.
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