Page MP Janelle Saffin today launched a local employment project for 15 Aboriginal high school students to study and train for careers in the pharmacy industry.

Ms Saffin said the Government is providing more than $112,000 to fund the project that was initiated by the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health, NSW Education Department, the North Coast Institute of Tafe and CONNECT.

“This is an excellent example of how the Government’s Indigenous Employment Program is working in practical partnerships to overcome Indigenous disadvantage,” she said.

“The students from 13 North Coast High Schools are being employed by local pharmacies in this study and work training program and they will complete a Certificate II in Community Pharmacy at TAFE while continuing their school studies.

“CONNECT is providing support for the students, families, schools and pharmacies involved to ensure the success of the project.

“The students will be mentored during their placements and at the completion of the project, CONNECT will help students with the transition to further study or employment.

“The Indigenous Employment Program is a key element of the Australian Government’s commitment to halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“I congratulate all those who have worked to set up the program, and wish the students the best of success.”

PICTURE: At the launch of the Indigenous employment program at Chemist World Goonellabah (from left) Janelle Saffin MP, pharmacist Kate Daniel, student Cherece Close, pharmacist Anna Nipperess and CONNECT project officer Cassie Ryan.