The Rudd Government’s plan to provide Indigenous Australians with new Job Seeker trainee places as a complement to existing initiatives is receiving industry support.
The Australian Minerals Council has been committed to providing employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians for some time.
According to the Minerals Council chief executive Mitchell Hooke, the Rudd initiative represents an enormous commitment to the minerals industry’s corporate social responsibility because the provision of Job Seeker positions requires a greater level of investment by companies in ensuring job readiness for unskilled, unemployed Indigenous Australians.
“We’ve identified the opportunity of providing 1,000 places in our companies over four years and we are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to allocate 180 Job Seeker places specifically for Indigenous Australians in remote and regional Australia,” he said.
“The success of the initiative will also require an effective business-government partnership. The ability of minerals companies to take on these places will depend to a large extent on Government support to address underlying impediments to employment and training, including assistance with literacy and numeracy, job readiness, transport to places of training or work, case management and cross cultural awareness programs.”
The initiative was unveiled by the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin in the Opening Address to the Minerals Council of Australia’s inaugural Sustainable Indigenous Communities Forum.
“The future of the Australian minerals industry is inextricably linked to building and enhancing a strong partnership with Indigenous communities. More than 60% of our operations have neighbouring Indigenous communities. This partnership is defined by the practical outcome of building sustainable Indigenous communities founded on the minerals industry’s commercial enterprise, government’s socio-economic responsibilities and the rights, interests, culture and resources of Indigenous Australians,” Hooke said.
“The minerals industry is committed to building mutually beneficial agreements on a platform of informed negotiation, with more than 350 Indigenous land use agreements across 200 operations, none of which, contest native title.