Strong desire to improve Indigenous employment

13 August 2019

Strong desire to improve Indigenous employment

The desire among employers to improve opportunities for Indigenous job seekers is the strongest it’s ever been, according to Workskil Australia CEO Nicole Dwyer.

Yet much more still needs to be done to bridge the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, Ms Dwyer told a packed business event in Adelaide yesterday.

Addressing CEDA’s Sustainable Indigenous Employment lunch, Nicole and other invited speakers outlined the challenges and opportunities facing local employers, recruiters and job seekers to create ‘culturally safe workplaces’.

The statistics show a deeply concerning disparity still exists in the jobs market.

“The commitment and intent among employers to employ Indigenous Australians has improved dramatically over the years,” Ms Dwyer said.

“However unemployment for Indigenous Australians is triple that of non-Indigenous Australians.

“Well over 50 per cent of the working age Indigenous population is looking for work.

“Clearly we have to do more.”

Other guest speakers included Shouwn Oosting - Principal Consultant, Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Simon Hockridge - General Manager HR with Adelaide Venue Management and Brenz Saunders - Assistant Project and Policy Officer, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The audience heard of a number of positive sustainable Indigenous employment initiatives that were generating real outcomes across industry sectors – from pre-employment support and personalised career development to company-wide Reconciliation Action Plans.

Promotion and engagement were also identified as being crucial steps in connecting Indigenous job seekers with employers.

“Sharing good stories on social media, encouraging word-of-mouth within the community and participating at local job fairs can all help boost engagement,” Ms Dwyer said.

Workskil Australia was a proud major sponsor of the CEDA Sustainable Indigenous Employment event.