As an Aboriginal man who has been involved in the education, training and employment arenas for all of my working life, I have a commitment to supporting my People to achieve equality in the workplace.
At the heart of moving forward and achieving employment equality is meaningful and respectful engagement. Partnerships are critical to realising these aspirations.
The key to the success in building stronger Aboriginal workforce participation is an ongoing focus on addressing all dimensions that impact on a person’s working life, that is, a holistic approach that understands the complex inter-relatedness of broader life issues and their resulting impact on an individual’s workforce development. This approach underpins all work undertaken by my company.
Ultimately, to address Aboriginal workforce development challenges workforce development approaches need to be focussed on developing complementary supply side measures that aim to connect the Aboriginal workforce to industry demand, using methodologies that include:
- driving shifts about the qualitative perception of the Aboriginal workforce. In short, it means working with employers to see the value of ‘employing Aboriginals’. This must not be done in isolation but in partnership with industry, enterprise and government.
Fundamentally by addressing the workforce development challenges facing Aboriginal Australians, we go a long way towards creating an environment for industry and employers to work with a responsive and competitive workforce where Aboriginal people participating in the workplace becomes the norm rather than the exception.