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TSRA partnership is bringing more than 100 new jobs to the region

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Two men in blue shirts and a woman in a brown dress, between them, stand on a beach. The woman supports a long black drum. In the background is water and land.
TSRA Chair, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM welcomed State Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman and Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ken Wyatt to Thursday Island this week.
19 Dec 2019

Media Release - Torres Strait Regional Authority

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is driving a collaboration across government and non-Australian Public Service (APS) agencies to develop a model which combines improved fisheries infrastructure with employment, training and enterprise development.

The TSRA has been working closely with its government and private sector partners to develop up to 110 jobs with training as a pathway to ongoing employment opportunities across the region.

Through extensive community consultation in 2018 and 2019, the TSRA identified the need to explore reformed policy responses aimed at increasing the Indigenous fishing industry economy in the Torres Strait region, as a means of reducing unemployment.

In response to these issues, the TSRA has secured $4.75 million, through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) to deliver improved fisheries infrastructure to enable fishing activity.

The name for this initiative is Warpil [Wah Pil] which is a traditional word for ‘many fish’.

Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said this initiative is a real opportunity to remove, or reduce, identified barriers to Islanders’ entry and ongoing participation in commercial fishing and create generational change.

“The maritime industry is the leading industry in the region and has been selected by the TSRA Board as the focal industry to increase employment for the region,” Mr Stephen said.

“Funding from the TSRA will support each trainee to complete a marine qualification like the Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 1) too through its award-winning Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project (TSMPP).”

“A policy reform such as this, that reduces Community Development Programme (CDP) participation by over 110 job seekers can achieve a perpetual cost saving to the government of over $6.1 million annually.

“The partnership approach harnesses the products, services and expertise of a broad scope of partners and targets their collective efforts towards the focal industry for economic growth: fishing, and subsequently reduces any duplication.

The TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM was pleased to meet with fellow funding partners: The Hon. Kenneth Wyatt AM and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman to announce this joint initiative.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work has committed $1.8 million to support 90 Torres Strait Islanders into jobs in the fishing industry as part of Community Owned Enterprises’ Fishing for our Future project.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the funding would support local people to gain skills and experience to work on fishing boats and onshore freezers or processing facilities.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative provides hands on, wrap around support for participants to gain valuable job ready skills and training,” Ms Fentiman said.

Community Owned Enterprises will deliver the Fishing for our Future project, which will offer up to 15 Work Skills Traineeships each on Erub, Saibai, Boigu, Poruma, Mer and Warraber Islands over the coming 12 months.”

“The first intake on Erub is underway with the Trainees scheduled to start in January 2020, with the others to follow.

“Seafood from the Torres Strait is sensational and expanding the fishing industry will benefit the local economy and get more customers hooked on these wonderful flavours.”

Trainees will also be invited to be part of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) Youth Employment Program (YEP), which provides participants access to the broader range of career enhancement and employment opportunities across the State Government and private industry organisations committed to enhancing employment outcomes for First Nation school leavers and job seekers.

Find out more

Visit the TSRA website to view the original media release.

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