Victoria University’s engagement partnerships lead to ground-breaking new course

Victoria University’s engagement partnerships lead to ground-breaking new course

The VicPol Diversity Recruitment Program is an excellent example of Victoria University’s approach to engagement with the communities it serves in Melbourne’s west.

Victoria University Polytechnic has worked closely with the University’s Footscray University Town initiative to develop a new 15-week course to assist people from African Australian backgrounds to be recruited into the Victorian Police.

The innovative course, which commenced in November, is a core component of the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program. It is the result of an 18- month collaboration between Victoria University and Victoria Police, African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services, Jesuit Social Services, MatchWorks, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, and AMES Australia.

As Victoria Police aims to recruit 5000 police over the next four years, the Program will help to expand its workforce diversity so it not only better reflects the multicultural communities it serves, but builds deeper understanding and trust between Victoria Police and refugee communities.

The program partners developed the initiative to address the issue that while there are people from African Australian backgrounds interested in joining the Force, there are significant barriers to them doing so.

The course aims to develop the skills and capacities they need to succeed through the recruitment process to enter the Victoria Police Academy.  It involves communication and numeracy skills, health and fitness training and swim coaching, first-aid and cross-cultural awareness units.

Jobs Victoria has provided funding to deliver the program over the next two years.  The program aims to recruit a minimum of 30 participants from African backgrounds into Victoria Police, and support a further 30 people into other employment and education pathways in the next year.

Contact Kerry O’Neill, Associate Director Engagement Initiatives, Victoria University for further information.