We have a pool of ‘untapped, talented committed people’
Australian businesses have been urged to be more proactive in employing Aboriginal people to fill the nation’s skills shortage reports the ProBono newsletter.
At an Aboriginal Employment Forum held in Sydney recently, organised by the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) and Diversity Council Australia (DCA) over 50 businesses heard about how they can increase their Aboriginal workforce.
The forum was about:
DCA Managing Director, Rohan Squirchuk said employing more Aboriginal people is good for both the business and the Aboriginal community:
Danny Lester, AES Chief Executive, said the AES has been successful in achieving employment outcomes for Aboriginal people across their seven offices in NSW.
He said his organisation is already working with some of Australia’s largest companies to get more Aboriginal people working in the private sector.
Lester said reports indicate that a shortfall of 195,000 workers in the by 2010 and Australia should be focusing on skilling the thousands of Aboriginal people capable of working but who just need the opportunity.
Daryl Pearce, Director of the Lingiari Policy Centre, a key note speaker at the forum, stressed the importance that employment can play in improving the lives of Aboriginal people.
He says having a job is central to an individual’s self-esteem; when you have a job you can feed yourself and your family, pay the rent and have the pride to encourage your kids to go to school.
The primary objective of the Lingiari Centre is to facilitate the social and economic advancement of Indigenous Australians through the generation and promulgation of informed and creative ideas, research and opinion on issues of national importance to Indigenous Australians.
About the Aboriginal Employment Strategy
The AES is an employment organisation with 100% Aboriginal staff receiving nominal funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and Corporate Australia. AES mentors Aboriginal people looking for work and places them into positions with local businesses and industry.
The AES approach is about work, not welfare. It aims to build pride, passion and commitment in Aboriginal communities and to build partnerships between Aboriginal communities and private enterprise.
In 2003 the AES opened an office in Tamworth and in Dubbo in 2004. It further expanded in November 2005 with the opening of offices in Sydney in Glebe and Blacktown and Maitland in the Hunter Valley. A corporate office to manage the six sites also opened.