Collaboration the key to Indigenous employment program on the Gold Coast

A young woman wearing a blue blouse smiles at the camera. Sun shines on palm trees in the background

Jane Allen-Ankins successfully completed a PaTH internship at Gold Coast City Council, as part of a targeted program to increase recruitment of Indigenous young people

This story was first published on Wednesday 18 December 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Young Indigenous job seekers on the Gold Coast are off to a great start, thanks to a collaboration between the City of Gold Coast, employment service providers, the Queensland Government and the Australian Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

The City of Gold Coast was looking to increase recruitment of local Indigenous job seekers, as part of its Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, but wanted to ensure sustainable, long-term outcomes.

The council worked with Employment Liaison Officers from the department to utilise the Youth Jobs PaTH internship program, setting it as a prerequisite for a Queensland Government subsidised First Start traineeship with City of Gold Coast.

The collaboration resulted in a tailored Youth Jobs PaTH program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers who were referred by jobactive, Transition to Work and Disability Employment Service providers. 

In May, 13 applicants commenced a four-week PaTH internship. During their internship placement, participants gained an appreciation of the role local council plays in their community as well as a greater understanding of the many employment opportunities on offer. The interns were offered mentoring support during this time.

Sandee Harris, Employment Liaison Officer with the Australian Government, said PaTH created a bridge between unemployment and a full-time traineeship.

“PaTH worked really well leading into the traineeships. It gave the young people a chance to see if the roles were for them,” Sandee said.

“It also enabled the employer to… work through any of those little hiccups that sometimes can happen when anybody starts, particularly somebody that doesn’t have a lot of work experience. In some cases, some of these young people had no work experience.”

Tracey Castle, Senior Business Partner Diversity at City of Gold Coast, said the program allowed for a period of adjustment.

“PaTH enabled them to come in for a short period of time through the week,” Tracey said. “It gives the stakeholders and the young people… time to iron out the kinks. So that when they start on a full-time traineeship program, hopefully, most of those kinks can be sorted out and workshopped to allow that young person to step into the full-time [traineeship] ready to go.

“Challenges happen but it’s how you deal with them that makes the real impact,” Tracey said.

Nine interns successfully completed their internship placement and commenced a 12-month traineeship with City of Gold Coast.

Jane Allen-Ankins and Tyson Duroux are two of the internship graduates who are now employed full-time – Jane in the pest control and management area and Tyson in business administration.

Tyson, who had struggled to find work before the program, said the internship was a great way to get his start.

“It actually opened my eyes up to what I was in for and all the experiences and stuff.

“One of the benefits of the four-week internship was that I was ready [for the traineeship],” Tyson said. “… it got me a taste of the job.”

Through the program, Jane has discovered a career she loves.

“Coming here was pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me,” Jane said. “It’s made me able to put my priorities in place, given me more of a vision of what I want in the future and what I need now.

“I wake up every day wanting to come to work and that’s not something you find often in a job,” Jane said.

Both Jane and Tyson will finish their traineeship with a Certificate III, setting them up for their next step – whether that’s continuing with City of Gold Coast or looking at other work or training opportunities.

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