Twenty thousand Indigenous Australians stand to benefit from the latest Abbott Government initiative to create more jobs for First Australians.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, today announced the Government’s new Employment Parity initiative, designed to support the private sector in employing Indigenous people.
“The Employment Parity Initiative harnesses the goodwill of Australia’s largest employers to take on Indigenous employees to help them increase their Indigenous workforce to 3 per cent – employment parity – to get 20,000 more First Australians into private sector jobs by 2020,” the Minister said.
“The chief executive officers of Australia’s biggest companies and those with a proven track record of employing large numbers of Indigenous workers will be invited to become Parity Employers.
“The CEOs will commit to championing the cause of employment parity within their business, industry and the broader community and the Government will provide payments to the employers to cover additional costs of employing and retaining currently unemployed Indigenous Australians.
“All payments will be linked to 26-week outcomes or net increases in the number of Indigenous employees within a company. This is key to ending the endless cycle of training for training’s sake.
“Contracts will be simple and tailored to the circumstances of the employer and with much less red tape.”
Today’s announcement of the Employment Parity Initiative follows the Government announcing targets to increase Indigenous employees in the public sector and see more Government contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses and boost Indigenous employment.
The Minister said the three reforms formed part of the Government’s response to the Forrest Review – Creating Parity.
“The Government is doing its bit to increase Indigenous employment through the new public sector and procurement targets, and by partnering up with national employers through the Employment Parity Initiative, we will work with the private sector to further eliminate the employment gap,” Minister Scullion said.
Two of the companies the Government has already entered into partnerships with under the Employment Parity Initiative are the Accor Hotel Group and Compass Group Australia.
Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer Accor, Simon McGrath, said the company is proud to join the Federal Government and commit to the Employment Parity Initiative and through this partnership, provide long-term sustainable outcomes for our Indigenous employment programmes.
“As an employer of over 10,000 hospitality staff nationally we are focused on supercharging Indigenous employment from 318 employees currently and generating 1,000 job opportunities by 2018 and we can only do this with significant Government support.”
Compass Group Australia Managing Director, Mark van Dyck, said its commitment to achieving positive, sustainable and capacity building outcomes for Indigenous peoples is core to our business.
“We believe there is tremendous untapped potential for business and Government to realise the significant benefits of increasing Indigenous participation rates and we are proud to be an inaugural partner of the Indigenous Employment Parity Initiative.”