Joint media Release with Federal Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs MP
Employment opportunities for First Australians living in the Northern Territory have been given a boost through a partnership between the Coalition Government and one of Australia’s leading companies, Woolworths.
With the support of the Government’s Employment Parity Initiative (EPI), Woolworths has committed to employing an additional nine First Australians at its new Bakewell supermarket, which opened today.
A further five First Australians will be employed at its supermarket in Coolalinga, and eight more at its supermarket in Alice Springs.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the jobs in the Northern Territory were part of Woolworths’ commitment to employ an additional 1600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country by 2019 – the biggest jobs commitment to date under the Government’s EPI.
“I congratulate Woolworths on the commitment it has shown to help close the employment gap and it’s great to see some of the jobs will be located here in the Northern Territory,” Minister Scullion said.
“Woolworths already employs more than 2000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country and its commitment to employ an additional 1600 First Australians will increase its Indigenous employment rate from the current 1.1 per cent to 2.1 per cent – closer to the parity rate of 3 per cent.
“Under the EPI, the Government helps companies to employ and retain disadvantaged, long-term unemployed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“To date, 11 employers have committed through the EPI to create 7265 jobs for First Australians, with 565 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people already taking up jobs. This puts us on track to create 20,000 jobs for First Australians through the EPI by 2020.”
Member for Solomon, Natasha Griggs, said the new Bakewell supermarket would add another 140 jobs to the Palmerston economy – including for 10 First Australians, nine of which will be employed through the EPI.
“Woolworths will benefit from the inclusion of First Australians into its roster and I encourage other businesses to also share the opportunities available through the EPI,” Mrs Griggs said.
“There is enormous potential for businesses in Darwin and Palmerston to build their workforces by tapping into the local knowledge and expertise contained within our First Australian community.”
On Friday, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the Coalition Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy had resulted in Indigenous businesses securing contracts worth more than $150 million so far this financial year. This is compared to $6.2 million in 2012-13 under Labor.
“A re-elected Coalition Government will build on the success of the EPI by requiring employers to not only commit to Indigenous employment targets, but also to increase their own purchasing from Indigenous businesses,” Minister Scullion said.
“EPI Employers will use their large supply chains to contract goods and services from Indigenous businesses to help build the Indigenous business sector and generate even more job opportunities for First Australians.”