Breaking down barriers to police entry for Australians with African backgrounds

Victoria University Polytechnic is helping break down recruitment barriers to Victoria Police for Australians with African backgrounds.

A new 15-week police preparation course, developed by Victoria University Polytechnic, will assist people from African-Australian backgrounds in joining Victoria Police. A pilot course began last month with about 20 participants and will run until next March.

VicPol Recruit Ready is a core component of the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program aimed at increasing the number of police recruits from African and refugee backgrounds by addressing existing barriers to enter the Police Academy.

These barriers include language skills, swimming requirements, understanding the recruitment process, affordability, and cultural isolation. The course will support participants to develop skills and train them in numeracy and literacy, swimming, fitness, first-aid and cross-cultural awareness.

Victoria University Polytechnic Vice-President Grant Dreher said he was pleased VU was a partner in a program that prepares people for rewarding careers with the police or other emergency services.

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“VicPol Recruit Ready is aimed at helping build a culturally-responsive police force that leads to improved relationships and rapport, particularly with young people from African backgrounds.”

Jobs Victoria is funding the program over the next two years. It aims to add at least 30 new recruits from African backgrounds to Victoria Police during that time, and to support a further 30 people into other employment or education pathways.

The program will help expand Victoria Police’s cultural representation so it better reflects the multicultural communities it serves in its goal to recruit 3000 more police over the next four years.

VicPol Recruit Ready complements Footscray University Town, a partnership between VU and Maribyrnong City Council, to revitalise Footscray as a hub of knowledge, learning, creativity and opportunity, with benefits for the whole community.

This innovative program is a collaboration with:

  • the African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services
  • Jobs Victoria
  • Jesuit Social Services
  • Victoria Police
  • MatchWorks
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • AMES Australia
  • Victoria University Polytechnic
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