The campaign by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest to create 50,000 new indigenous jobs is already attracting the nay sayers. I have the opposite view.
The first distinctive feature of Mr Forrest's proposal is that all those who undergo required training should be guaranteed an initial job by industry. The second distinctive feature is that the proposal is not driven just by remote area Northern Territory indigenous problems, but will be open to all indigenous people no matter where they live.
I suspect that Mr Forrest will get his job offers. The bigger problems are likely to be the capacity of our sometimes creaky training system to deliver on one side, the ability to find 50,000 indigenous people willing and able to participate on the other.
I noticed the media all zero in on the number itself. How, they ask, will you measure success? This is again the obsession with quantification that has damaged so much policy. By implication, if only 10,000 jobs are created, the plan will fail. What rubbish.
The 50,000 target is an aspiration, a big number to set a vision. It would be wonderful if we got to 50,000. But if even 10,000 jobs were created, I would say well done.
Neil (Ninglun) had a follow up post on this matter that includes some useful links to further information.