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CDEP as a Stepping Stone to Employment: the Port Augusta Case


  • Matthew Gray

    () (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • Elaine Thacker

    (The Australian National University)


Indigenous Australians in the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme have been working for welfare payments since 1977. One of the objectives of the scheme is to assist Indigenous Australians develop work skills which lead to 'mainstream' employment. This paper uses a case study of a CDEP scheme in Port Augusta, a regional centre in South Australia, to analyse the success of the scheme as a stepping stone to unsubsidised employment in regional centres and urban areas. The research demonstrates that the scheme can be a stepping stone to 'mainstream' employment for participants wishing to make this move. It also provides an opportunity for participants who do not wish to find employment to undertake useful work in an environment that allows them to balance cultural and family commitments with the demands of employment. The factors underpinning the movement to 'mainstream' employment are identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gray & Elaine Thacker, 2000. "CDEP as a Stepping Stone to Employment: the Port Augusta Case," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 4(2), pages 77-88, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:4:y:2001:i:2:p:77-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peat, Maurice & Stevenson, Max, 1996. "Asymmetry in the business cycle: Evidence from the Australian labour market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 353-368, September.
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    4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    5. Rothman, Philip, 1991. "Further evidence on the asymmetric behavior of unemployment rates over the business cycle," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 291-298.
    6. Skalin, Joakim & Ter svirta, Timo, 2002. "Modeling Asymmetries And Moving Equilibria In Unemployment Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 202-241, April.
    7. Burgess, Simon M, 1988. "Employment Adjustment in UK Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 81-103, March.
    8. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1, January.
    9. Philip Rothman, 1998. "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 164-168, February.
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    More about this item


    Economics of Minorities; Human Capital; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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