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Increasing Indigenous people’s participation in the workforce in Australia

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 5/28/2015, Location: Not categorized

Over the last few years our Australian business, QGC, has been working to maximise Indigenous employment in its operations. Initiatives have included developing an Indigenous jobseeker database, working closely with contractors, and using specialist recruiters. As a result, the numbers and retention rate of Indigenous people working in QGC operations has significantly improved.

In 2010, QGC committed to meeting Indigenous employment targets, but faced a number of challenges that are common to the construction of large gas projects. Construction contractors tend to have recruitment systems that do not address the typical barriers Indigenous people face when applying for jobs. Many of the jobs are highly skilled and require previous experience, and construction projects are highly schedule-driven, limiting time for training of workers without previous experience.

QGC has worked to address these challenges through developing a more targeted approach to recruiting Indigenous people, including:
- Visiting communities to ask Traditional Owners and other Indigenous groups to provide resumes for a database – by 2011, this database, ‘Indigenous Workstars’, had 800 names;
- When QGC advertises jobs, the Indigenous Relations team puts forward resumes of Indigenous people for these roles;
- Contractors are required to prepare an Indigenous Participation Plan and are encouraged to use the Indigenous jobseeker database; and
- Funding specialist Indigenous recruiters to work within key contractor companies, in what is called the ‘embedded recruiter model’.

Indigenous Workstars has had increasing success in the past year by using Facebook to quickly elicit suitable candidates matched to job opportunities arising in specific locations.

The embedded recruiter model has also been successfully implemented at several key QGC contractor companies and has been helping to attract and retain Indigenous workers.

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