Programmed targets employment for 5000 Indigenous Australians

L-R Nic Fairbank, Chris Sutherland, Andrew Forrest and Malcolm Turnbull.

Mining services provider Programmed has set a goal to employ 5000 Indigenous Australians across its operations.

Programmed, which also operates in industry sectors like oil and gas, manufacturing and retail, announced the 10-year plan in Canberra last week with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest.

It is the largest ever contract by an Australian company for Indigenous employment.

According to Programmed, the company wants a workforce that reflects the diversity of society by culture, gender, age, sexual orientation and abilities.

Programmed managing director Chris Sutherland said the company was pleased with the support for its updated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement and employment plan.

“It is important that our workforce reflects the communities we operate in,” he said.

Programmed’s plans include a contract with GenerationOne, which will be supported by organisations such as Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTEC), the Employment Parity Initiative, jobactive and other government initiatives.

Forrest, who is the founder of GenerationOne, said Programmed’s 5000 jobs for Indigenous people set a new benchmark for the private sector.

“I call on the Australian Government and business community to continue to reflect on their own capacity to increase Indigenous participation in the workforce. Employment is a fundamental part of closing the gap and every opportunity counts,” Forrest said.

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