Examples Of Employer Programs Aimed At Increasing Indigenous Employment
The ACCI Indigenous Employment and Training Project
This project emphasises a range of strategies including:
- Øhaving staff complete training in cross-cultural awareness (especially potential mentors)
- Øusing alternative approaches to recruitment including:
– developing relationships with organisations specialising in Indigenous employment
– advertising on Indigenous radio and television
– using word of mouth (Indigenous social networks)
– talking with school career advisors ?
- Øoffering work experience placements for Indigenous job seekers ?
- Øproviding clear induction programs
- Øhaving strategies for retaining Indigenous employees, which could include:?
– developing connections with local communities ?and Indigenous support structures
– use of outside service providers
– trying to employ a number of Indigenous staff (to facilitate informal support networks)
– establishing mentors within the workplace
- Øassisting in the development of employment and training strategies
- Øsupporting Indigenous Employment Centres that have been established to help CDEP participants take up ongoing employment outside of CDEP
- Øpromoting private sector employment opportunities to Indigenous communities and organisations
- Øpromoting the IEP, including Wage Assistance and other Indigenous employment initiatives, to employers, Indigenous communities, Indigenous students and job seekers.
Source: ACCI (2005)
Ngarda Civil & Mining: an example of an Indigenous contracting business
Ngarda Civil & Mining is a mining contractor with around 350 employees, of whom about half are Indigenous . Ngarda aims to maintain and exceed 50% Indigenous employment . Ngarda claim that they are the largest Indigenous owned and operated contracting company in Australia and retain their traditional links through their shareholders, such as the Pilbara-based community foundation,?Ngarda Ngarli Yarndu Foundation and Indigenous Business Australia . Leighton Contractors are also a shareholder in Ngarda . In 2008-09, Ngarda’s turnover was just over $150 million . Ngarda provides a range of services including:
- Øsurface mining?• road construction and maintenance • tailings dam construction?• bulk earthworks
- Øenvironmental rehabilitation
- Ølicensed stevedores
- Øbuilding and construction services
- Øwork readiness programs and heavy plant operator training .
Ngarda’s training initiatives include:?
- ØPurarrka Indigenous Mining Academy
- Øcross-cultural awareness training?
- Øheavy plant operator programs?
- Øsecondary education partnerships?
- Øtraineeships and apprenticeships?
Try’a Trade Events
SkillsTech Australia hosts various Try’a Trade events during the year, including one recently at the Acacia Ridge Training Centre for more than 65 Indigenous students from 14 schools across Queensland.
This event was part of a three-day program organised by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) to encourage Indigenous youth to take up long-term and rewarding careers in the resources sector.
The QMEA is a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and the Queensland Government. The Try’a Trade event gave students hands-on experience in electrical, diesel fitting, mechanical and engineering trades.
SkillsTech Australia Institute Director Mary Campbell said the Try’a Trade event gave school students a taste of what to expect within their trade area of interest and assist with School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SATs) enrolments.
“The event featured hands-on activities in our world-class facilities which gave students a glimpse of what to expect if they choose the pathway to a trade,” Mrs Campbell said. “It is partnerships like this one with QMEA which will encourage Indigenous school students to apply for SATs to develop their skills and assist with their future prospects.
“Especially in the resources sector, with a projected 40,000 resource sector jobs required in the coming years, it is initiatives like this that will ensure that Queenslanders are at the forefront of these opportunities.”
SkillsTech Australia Indigenous Liaison and Support Officer Kim Page said events such as this one are very important for the Indigenous community to give students practical and relevant options for their future.
“It was great to meet these students and let them know that at SkillsTech Australia we have all the support services they will need to succeed in their chosen trade and to go on to be great role models for their communities; it is events like these that can make it happen,” Ms Page said.
SkillsTech Australia regularly attends the FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expo featured around Queensland offering Try’a Trade activities, as well as trade teachers and student support officers to talk to students. FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expos are presented by the Australian Government to provide Indigenous job seekers and school leavers the opportunity to connect with employers, education and training providers, together with a host of former State of Origin heroes, in one place for one day.
SkillsTech Australia: 1800 782 000, or visit: http://www.skillstech.tafe.qld.gov.au/services/support/indigenous.html