MHS 3063 : The Health And Cultural Diversity Of First Australian

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MHS 3063 : The Health And Cultural Diversity Of First Australian

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MHS 3063 : The Health And Cultural Diversity Of First Australian

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Course Code: MHS 3063
University: University Of South Florida

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Country: United States

Introduce the target and explain why it is important for health.
Provide an in-depth discussion about whether the target is on track, and include relevant statistics that support your argument.
Discuss what strategies have been utilised and are currently being utilised to ensure the target is met.
Provide at least one suggestion (supported by empirical research) for what could be done to help the target be met (if it is not on track) or keep it on track in the future (if it is on track).
We are asking you to consider what strategy you might implement, given unlimited resources, to ensure your ‘Closing the Gap’ target is met.

Introduction to the target and its importance to health:
Closing the Gap is a program that was developed by the Government of Australia in order to reduce the disadvantages faced by Indigenous Australians such as Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginals and to reduce the gaps in life expectancy, early childhood education, child mortality, and employability and health status compared to the Non Indigenous population of Australia (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016). One of the main targets that were chosen by me was to reduce the gap in employability and increase employment among the Indigenous Australians. The significance of this target can be supported by studies that show employability and job security are closely associated with health and wellbeing, and it can help to increase access to healthcare and helps to reduce health inequalities. Employment can also help to support a healthy lifestyle, healthier choice of diet, thereby further supporting health and wellbeing (Saunders, 2015). Additionally, lack of employment can adversely affect the physical and mental health of individuals, increase risks of addiction, violence and social problems, thus showing the significance of employment to health (Hunter et al., 2015).
Whether the target is on track
Recent statistics show that that gap in employment, life expectancy, reading and writing skills and attendance in school still exists in Australia between the Non Indigenous and Indigenous Australians (Daly & Gebremedhin, 2015). As per the Australian Institute of health and Welfare, the Indigenous people in Australia are still experiencing higher rates of unemployment compared to non Indigenous Australians and also they have lower household incomes compared to other Australians and have higher probability to be supported with allowances or government pensions as their primary income source. Their studies show that the there was a gap of more than 20% in employment, and a gap of almost 10% between Indigenous and Non Indigenous Australians. In both these gaps it is seen that the Indigenous Australians are still lagging being in employment opportunities and are experiencing more unemployment rates (aihw.gov.au, 2018; Gilberthorpe & Hilson, 2016).
Moreover reports from Jobs Australia also supports that employment rates among Indigenous Australians are ‘going backwards’. According to their reports, the rates of employment among Indigenous Australians fell from 53.8% during 2008 to 48.4% as of 2018, thus falling by more than 5%. Additionally, the gap in employment also increased from 21.2% to 24.2% in the same period (Hajkowicz et al., 2016). Additionally, participation in employment was also found to be lesser in remote as well as very remote regions of Australia and the unemployment increased with the remoteness of the individuals from the Indigenous Communities but for non Indigenous people, remoteness have increased the employment rates, thereby showing the gap. The report also indicated that in very remote regions the unemployment rates for Indigenous Australians to be 28.1% compared to 2.8% for Non Indigenous Australians. The likelihood for self employment among the Indigenous population was three times lower compared to the non indigenous Australian population (ja.com.au 2018).
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet concludes that the target to halve the gap in employment rates is not on track, and the current condition does not show the gap is becoming any less than it was before. Moreover, there has been a drop in the employment rates in the last 10 years, which shows that more needs to be done to increase the employment among these communities and close the gap (closingthegap.pmc.gov.au 2018). These evidences clearly shows that a significant gap still remains in the employment rates between indigenous and non indigenous Australians, thus pointing out a failure of the Closing The gap program to achieve its target (Roness, 2017).
Strategies that have been utilized to meet the target
Different strategies were used to meet the target for reducing employment gaps such as:
Increasing the skill levels through training and education: The strategy aims to improve the employability among the indigenous Australians through formal training and education through which their skills and competencies can be improved. This also helps in better retention of jobs and in professional development (Mourshed et al., 2014).
Pre-Employment assessment: This helps to identify the employment skills among individuals before they seek for employment, comparing their current skill sets and competencies against the skills and competencies needed for specific jobs, and thus develop strategies to increase the employability if there is any gap in skills and competencies (O’Neill et al., 2017).
Policies of recruitment and management to support cultural diversity at workplace: Implementing cultural diversity can facilitate the employment of indigenous Australians and support an environment of respect towards differences in cultures. Recruitment policies that support and help to maintain cultural diversity is also vital to ensure diversity in workplace (Grillitsch & Tavassoli, 2018).
Policies to ensure indigenous Australians get equal opportunities for employment: These policies ensure that the Indigenous Australians are not subjected to inequalities in job opportunities based on their cultural backgrounds and have equal opportunities to apply for jobs as the non Indigenous Australians (Davis et al., 2016).
Cross Cultural Training of employees: This strategy helps to ensure that the employees in a culturally diverse organization are culturally competent and sensitive and appreciate a cultural diversity in the organization. The cross cultural training also helps to foster understanding about other cultures thus helping to develop respect to the cultural differences between the employees and prevent cultural misunderstandings (Thomas & Peterson, 2017).
Mentoring and support: This can help the individuals to develop job specific skills and competencies and support the individuals so that they can develop their skills and competencies to acquire and hold on to jobs. Mentoring also helps to motivate the individuals and guide them through their employment period, helping them towards professional development and professional growth (Davis et al., 2016).
Supporting families of indigenous employees: Supporting the indigenous families is vital, since it can take off a lot of burden from the indigenous individuals who are trying to develop their skills for employment. Supporting their families while they are developing the professional skills can help them to focus more on their training and education process, increasing the chances of success of the programs (Edelman et al., 2016).
Preventing racism and discrimination in workplace: Racism in the workplace is one of the most significant problems that affect the employment among Indigenous Australians. Individual who experience racism and discrimination in workplace have lesser job satisfaction, higher job related stress and are less likely to retain the job, thus supporting the necessity to prevent such behaviour in workplace (Kosny et al., 2017; Ruhanen & Whitford, 2018).
Suggestion that can be used to meet the target
Increase participation in employment activities: Through better participation in employment activities or programs for increasing skills and competencies for jobs can ensure the Indigenous individuals are able to develop their skills in a better way. Studies suggest that one of the biggest challenges faced by the employment providers and job skill developers is non participation or inadequate participation due to which they are unable to fully utilize the services, resulting in drop outs or opt outs by the individuals from the programs. Improving participation can therefore ensure that the individuals are engaged throughout the program and follow it to their completion, which can thus increase their employment opportunities (Holloway et al., 2018).
Community Development and Social Network: Developing the community can help the individuals from Indigenous populations to support each other in their employment. Individuals who are already employed can help those without employment and guide them to develop the skills and competencies needed to acquire the jobs. Through community development, cooperation and cohesion within the community can also develop, which can foster a sense of social identity and social belonging. Social networks can also provide support to the individuals and their families to provide support to the individuals to acquire job specific skills and competencies (Jordan, 2018; Janapareddy et al., 2015).
Increase attendance in education among Indigenous Students: Attendance in schools and colleges is vital to ensure the individuals are able to develop knowledge and thus skills to acquire jobs. Dropouts from schools and colleges have been identified as one of the key reasons for reduced employability and thus increasing attendance in schools and colleges is a vital necessity. Authors have suggested that by increasing attendance in schools and colleges is positively correlated with the rates of employment and that dropping out from schools and colleges can challenge the prospects of acquiring jobs (Blossfeld et al., 2015).
Implement self learning and knowledge sharing: Through self learning individuals can develop their own skills and competencies to acquire jobs. This strategy is also vital for continuous improvement of professional competencies which are important skills in several organizations. Sharing of knowledge can also help the individuals to help each other increase their knowledge and understanding, improve socialization and cohesion among the community and empower them to achieve better job opportunities (Kim & Ko, 2014).
Improving employability is one of the key targets in the closing the gap program, which aims to reduce the discrepancies faced by the indigenous people, compared to the non indigenous Australians. The program was developed by the Australian Government to address the health and employment inequalities faced by the indigenous communities. By improving the employment it is expected that the health and wellbeing can also be improved through better access to healthcare and supporting healthier lifestyles.  Several strategies have been identified that were used to address the employment inequality, with the aim of the program to reduce the gap by half by 2018. However, studies show that the inequalities in employment and unemployment rates are still present, and the program was unable to reduce the gap by half. Additional strategies can be used to improve the employment rates among the indigenous individuals which can reduce the gap.
aihw.gov.au. (2018). Australia’s welfare 2017: in brief, Indigenous Australians – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/australias-welfare-2017-in-brief/contents/indigenous-australians
Blossfeld, H. P., Skopek, J., Triventi, M., & Buchholz, S. (Eds.). (2015). Gender, education and employment: an international comparison of school-to-work transitions. Edward Elgar Publishing.
closingthegap.pmc.gov.au. (2018). Employment | Closing the Gap. Retrieved from https://closingthegap.pmc.gov.au/employment
Commonwealth of Australia. (2016). Closing the Gap: Prime Minister’s Report 2016.
Daly, A., & Gebremedhin, T. A. (2015). Can An “Indigenous Employment Program” Work? A Case Study of National Australia Bank. Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 34(3), 128-138.
Davis, P. J., Frolova, Y., & Callahan, W. (2016). Workplace diversity management in Australia: what do managers think and what are organisations doing?. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 35(2), 81-98.
Edelman, L. F., Manolova, T., Shirokova, G., & Tsukanova, T. (2016). The impact of family support on young entrepreneurs’ start-up activities. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(4), 428-448.
Gilberthorpe, E., & Hilson, G. (2016). Indigenous Employment, Training and Retention: Successes and Challenges at Red Dog Mine. In Natural Resource Extraction and Indigenous Livelihoods (pp. 27-52). Routledge.
Grillitsch, M., & Tavassoli, S. (2018). Cultural diversity and employment growth: Moderating effect of the recent global financial crisis. Australian Journal of Management, 0312896218765260.
Hajkowicz, S. A., Reeson, A., Rudd, L., Bratanova, A., Hodgers, L., Mason, C., & Boughen, N. (2016). Tomorrow’s digitally enabled workforce: Megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the coming twenty years. Australian Policy Online.
Holloway, E. M., Rickwood, D., Rehm, I. C., Meyer, D., Griffiths, S., & Telford, N. (2018). Non-participation in education, employment, and training among young people accessing youth mental health services: demographic and clinical correlates. Advances in Mental Health, 16(1), 19-32.
Hunter, B., & Yap, L. M. M. (2015). Income, work and education: insights for closing the gap in urban Australia.
ja.com.au. (2018). Closing the Gap 2017 – Indigenous Employment Rate Going Backwards – Jobs Australia. Retrieved from https://www.ja.com.au/news/closing-gap-2017-indigenous-employment-rate-going-backwards
Janapareddy, V. N., Budzienski, J., & Zimmerman, K. (2015). U.S. Patent Application No. 14/317,109.
Jordan, K. (2018). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment policy and Welfare to Work: The Community Development Programme and the need for new narratives, new alliances and new institutions. Australian Journal of Social Issues.
Kim, Y. W., & Ko, J. (2014). HR practices and knowledge sharing behavior: Focusing on the moderating effect of trust in supervisor. Public Personnel Management, 43(4), 586-607.
Kosny, A., Santos, I., & Reid, A. (2017). Employment in a “land of opportunity?” Immigrants’ experiences of racism and discrimination in the Australian workplace. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 18(2), 483-497.
Mourshed, M., Patel, J., & Suder, K. (2014). Education to employment: Getting Europe’s youth into work. McKinsey & Company.
O’Neill, T. A., Lewis, R. J., Law, S. J., Larson, N., Hancock, S., Radan, J., … & Carswell, J. J. (2017). Forced-choice pre-employment personality assessment: Construct validity and resistance to faking. Personality and Individual Differences, 115, 120-127.
Roness, P. G. (2017). Types of state organizations: Arguments, doctrines and changes beyond new public management. In Transcending new public management (pp. 77-100). Routledge.
Ruhanen, L., & Whitford, M. (2018). Racism as an inhibitor to the organisational legitimacy of Indigenous tourism businesses in Australia. Current Issues in Tourism, 21(15), 1728-1742.
Saunders, P. (2015). Closing the gap: the growing divide between poverty research and policy in Australia. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50(1), 13-35.
Thomas, D. C., & Peterson, M. F. (2017). Cross-cultural management: Essential concepts. Sage Publications.

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