500 New Jobs for Indigenous Australians
25 August 2014 at 10:18 am
Jobs for an additional 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including a new apprenticeship program, by 2017 have been announced as part of banking giant Westpac’s 2015-17 Reconciliation Action Plan.
The bank said it would also enhance its targets within its existing dedicated Indigenous employment programs, including a new 10-year commitment to place 40 Indigenous interns annually and committing to increase the number of Indigenous trainees hired each year.
“Not only are we increasing the number of new Indigenous employees across Westpac Group, we’re also focused on retaining and developing employees. Our goal is to provide long-lasting and meaningful careers, where we can better support the professional development and leadership aspirations of our Indigenous employees,” Westpac Group CEO Gail Kelly said.
“We have learnt from experience that creating strong partnerships and taking an integrated approach to working with customers, employees and communities is essential to opening up new opportunities for effective progress for Indigenous Australians.”
Westpac said it planned to create new employment pathways for Indigenous Australians in collaboration with corporate partners, suppliers, social enterprises and community partners, through steps including:
- A new pilot apprenticeship program called Warrigal with Westpac’s catering partner Compass Group. Sixteen young Indigenous Australians will gain hospitality industry qualifications and practical experience, supported by holistic mentoring at work and home;
- Increasing to $3 million the spend on Indigenous-owned businesses within Westpac Group’s supply chain;
- Continuing to increase the number of small Indigenous businesses being established or expanded through access to Westpac microfinance loans in partnership with Many Rivers Microfinance; and
- Delivering a new financial governance education program to more than 30 Indigenous- owned organisations.
Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive, Leah Armstrong, said the new Reconciliation Action Plan had been awarded the ‘Elevate’ status – the highest status to be assigned.
“As a financial services organisation, Westpac uses its strengths to make a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities,” Ms Armstrong said.
“It is great to see Westpac continuing to show leadership, pushing the boundaries and setting new benchmarks for achieving real change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for reconciliation.”
Westpac Group’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2015-2017 is available online at www.westpac.com.au/WestpacWeave