An Indigenous employment program in Queensland is set to continue for the next 12 months after receiving $200,000 in funding.
QLD Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt, announced funding of $100,000 from the state government when presenting the second annual Queensland Resources Council Indigenous Awards in Brisbane.
This was matched with an additional $100,000 from the Queensland Resources Council for the program, which began in 2007 with the signing by then Premier Peter Beattie of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the QRC and the government.
The program aims to increase indigenous employment in the resources sector both directly and through engagement of indigenous businesses.
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche thanked the government, saying that the results of the MOU programs speak for themselves.
“Our second annual survey of members confirmed a total of 995 full-time indigenous employees in the resources sector the end of 2014, compared with 802 the previous year,” Roche said.
“Almost 90 per cent of those surveyed reported the MoU had increased the likelihood that their company would invest more effort and resources into indigenous participation strategies, while just over 70 per cent of companies told us they had employed more indigenous people and businesses because of the MoU.”
Roche said the QRC’s Indigenous Awards acknowledge the importance of increasing the diversity of the resources sector workforce.
“They promote and celebrate leading practice indigenous employment and training achievements in the resources sector and are presented during Reconciliation Week to showcase indigenous people as role models and ambassadors for the sector,” Roche said.
“I congratulate the individuals and companies who nominated for the awards, and especially the winners of the various categories for their outstanding efforts.
“This increasingly successful participation in the Queensland resources sector has changed the lives of many indigenous people, their families and communities.
“It is fantastic to see that, even in these challenging times for the resources sector, more and more indigenous people are sharing in the opportunities available within the resources sector, and their commitment and hard work changing attitudes towards indigenous people in the workforce.”
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|About 200 people attended the awards ceremony, opened with a welcome to country by indigenous Songwoman Maroochy Barambah.|