Interim Evaluation of the Northern Territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Aged Care Workforce Development Projects - Attachments
3. Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)
3.1 CDEP BackgroundThe Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program is an Australian Government funded initiative for unemployed Indigenous people in select locations of Australia. The initiative provides activities to develop participants’ skills and to improve their employability. The overall aim is to improve opportunities for Indigenous Australians to secure long term employment and to achieve economic independence.
The CDEP program has been in place since 1977. Since that time it has been subject to a number of changes. On 19 December 2008, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Minister for Employment Protection announced reforms to both the CDEP program and the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP). The changes were implemented in July 2009 and form part of the Government’s employment creation strategy32. The program contributes to the Government’s commitment to halving the existing employment gap between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians by 202033.
The Australian Government has developed a new integrated approach to employment services for Indigenous Australians. This has involved the reform of the Universal Employment Services (UES), IEP and CDEP. The reforms were informed by extensive public consultation, and result in an integration of the three services to provide greater support to Indigenous Australians at a local level34.
3.2 Changes to CDEPThe new employment services model was introduced from 1 July 2009 and will bring together a number of existing employment programs. The new model will function as follows:
- UES will operate across Australia and will continue to be the largest provider of employment services to Indigenous people. It will provide tailored assistance based on job seekers’ needs to get them ready for work, into training and referred to sustainable jobs.
- IEP will continue to focus on assisting employers. It will operate across Australia using projects to meet the specific workforce needs of employers quickly.
- CDEP will operate in remote areas where there are fewer opportunities and provide work readiness training and work experience. It will support community development projects and building the capacity of Indigenous organisations and communities35.
The reformed CDEP program will continue to operate in communities where there are limited economic opportunities, which includes many of the communities included in the Workforce Development Projects. A summary of the changes to CDEP are as follows:
- The Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) now manages the CDEP program and has developed program guidelines for the management of CDEP from 2009-201237.
3.2.1 Non–Remote Australia
- CDEP will cease to operate in non-remote areas from 1 July 2009
- UES in partnership with IEP will be the primary provider of employment services for Indigenous job seekers38
- A community support program will be introduced to support Indigenous Australians to link a range of services.
3.2.2 Remote Australia
- Remote communities will have access to a reformed CDEP offering two streams of assistance (see Section 3.3)
- CDEP providers will work in partnership with UES and IEP providers
- Employment Services providers and CDEP providers will be required to enter into a Service Level Agreement to set out how they will work together in partnership at a local level to develop a package of appropriate services for the job seeker39
- All CDEP participants will register with an employment services provider and will have access to a range of employment services40
- The Employment Services provider will work with the job seeker to develop an Employment Pathway Plan, which will include both Employment Services and CDEP activities41
- Funding arrangements will be of three years duration and will commence on 1 July 2009
- CDEP positions that have supported the delivery of government services will be converted to properly paid jobs42
- New participants (start CDEP after 1 July 2009) will receive income support payments from Centrelink
- Current CDEP participants will be able to access CDEP wages until 30 June 2011 as long as they are still eligible and do not take an unapproved break for more than two weeks43
- From 1 July 2011 until 30 September 2011 continuing participants will move off CDEP wages.
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3.3 Reformed CDEP Assistance StreamsThe reformed CDEP commencing from 1 July 2009 has two streams of assistance available to job seekers. These are44:
- Work readiness services - to help job seekers develop their skills, improving employability, and allowing them to move out of the CDEP program through the provision of training and work experience45
- Community Development – focuses on supporting and developing Indigenous communities and organisations through the support of projects and development and support.
It is hoped that the resources developed as part of the Workforce Development Projects will also contribute to the development of the community aged care workforce. These resources are being used by trainers to ensure that training is relevant to the skills, abilities and work experiences of the participants.
3.3.1 Jobs PackageThe CDEP reforms are supported by a Jobs Package. Approximately 2,000 jobs will be created from previous CDEP funded positions in government service delivery46. The creation of real jobs from CDEP activities will deliver tangible benefits for Indigenous employees including award wages, access to superannuation, training and professional development in regions with limited opportunities47. The Initiative includes the establishment of 400 new traineeships across government services sectors. Traineeships provide a structured pathway for young Indigenous people in remote communities to make the transition into the workforce.
3.3.2 Measuring AchievementsEach year CDEP providers need to measure their achievements against targets included in their funding agreements; the 2009-2012 agreements include three indicators. These are:
- Employment: the number of CDEP participants moving into off-CDEP employment (employment places)
- Training: the number of CDEP participants who have started accredited training that will continue for more than 13 weeks
- Quality: the quality of services delivered to CDEP participants and the community (measured by a range of measures including the provider management of change, community satisfaction with the provider, training plans completed for all participants, etc)48.
- The GGJ evaluation will specifically focus on the 349 CDEP positions that were converted and the people who filled those positions to identify the impact of the move off CDEP on the provision of community aged care service provision and the individual workers’ experiences.
3.4 CDEP in the Northern TerritoryThe Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory monitoring report49 cites an increase of 8% in CDEP participant numbers in the first half of 2009 and then a reduction from 5,897 CDEP participants in June 2009 to 5,163 by the 20th September 2009. This equates to a reduction of 734 participants. The report does not allude to whether the CDEP participants have now moved to employment or training; however, it is the intention of the GGJ evaluation to identify the movement of CDEP participants in the community care workforce in the Northern Territory.
The Workforce NT Report (2008)50 identifies 5,364 CDEP participants in 2008 and further identifies those working in ‘health care and social assistance’ [made up of hospitals, other social assistance services, child care services, allied health services and medical services]; 1,171 CDEP workers currently work in this field. Whilst it is acknowledged that this data is not the most up to date (as cited earlier), it does allow for the identification of the proportion of CDEP workers engaged in the health and social assistance sector, being approximately 22% of the total CDEP participants. CDEP participation in the health and social assistance sector is second only to the public administration and safety sector of the total CDEP participation.
Further information will be available in the next monitoring report.
3.5 CDEP and the Northern Territory Community Care WorkforceThe creation of 349 positions for CDEP workers in the community care sector (including 45 people being employed in Flexible Aged Care Aged Care Services) is part of the Workforce Development Projects in the Northern Territory. Sixty one Northern Territory communities have each been allocated positions for workers to provide community care to clients in their communities. The numbers of positions range between three and 25 positions51, with the majority of communities receiving around five to six positions.
The GGJ evaluation seeks to explore the movement of CDEP participants to paid community care positions in detail to identify:
- Whether or not the CDEP participants moved to paid positions as planned
- Issues with the conversion process for participants and coordinators
- Maintenance of workers in their positions
- The impact of the movement into paid positions on the workers and the coordinators (including human resource management impacts)
- The impact of the workers movement into paid positions on service delivery to community care recipients
- The ongoing aspirations (and support needs eg. training, mentoring, literacy) of people who have moved to paid positions
- Any suggested improvements by participants.
32. Altman J C 2008 Killing CDEP softly? Reforming Workfare in Remote Australia www.crikey.com.au http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20081009-Killing-CDEP-softly-Reforming-workfare-in-remote-Australia-.html
33. DEEWR and FaHCSIA 2008 Strengthening Indigenous employment opportunities: Joint media release Canberra http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Pages/ChangestotheIndigenousEmploymentProgram.aspx
34. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP): Key features of the CDEP reforms Commonwealth of Australia Canberra http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/indigenous/programs-cdep_intro.htm
35. Commonwealth of Australia 2008 Increasing Indigenous Employment Opportunity: Proposed Reforms to the CDEP and Indigenous Employment Programs Canberra
36. O'Connor B 2008 New Universal Employment Services tenders: Media statement 29th September 2008 Australian Labour Party
37. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program: Program Guidelines 2009-2012 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra
38. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP): Key features of the CDEP reforms Commonwealth of Australia Canberra http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/indigenous/programs-cdep_intro.htm
39. Commonwealth of Australia 2009 New Employment Services: Fact Sheet
42. Commonwealth of Australia 2008 Increasing Indigenous Employment Opportunity: Proposed Reforms to the CDEP and Indigenous Employment Programs Canberra
43. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP): Key features of the CDEP reforms Commonwealth of Australia Canberra http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/indigenous/programs-cdep_intro.htm
44. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program: Program Guidelines 2009-12 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra
46. DEEWR and FaHCSIA 2008 Strengthening Indigenous employment opportunities: Joint media release Canberra http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Pages/ChangestotheIndigenousEmploymentProgram.aspx
47. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP): Key features of the CDEP reforms Commonwealth of Australia Canberra http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/indigenous/programs-cdep_intro.htm
48. FaHCSIA 2009 Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program: Program Guidelines 2009-12 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra
49. Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2009 Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory January 2009 to June 2009 Whole of Government Monitoring Report Part One Overview of Measures Canberra
50. Northern Territory Government Department of Business and Employment 2008 Workforce NT ReportDarwin
51. Department of Health and Ageing 2009 Location of Home and Community Care and Flexible Aged Care jobs created from CDEP processes in the Northern Territory Project Document Canberra
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