Calls for More Indigenous Employment 1

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
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Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals is calling on business leaders to create more opportunities for indigenous Australians to end the jobs’ disparity.

Chief executive Nev Power says businesses should roll out programs that give indigenous people jobs, skills and educational opportunities.

He says there’s overwhelming evidence that shows royalty payments or charitable donations don’t work in tackling the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous employment.

“I call on Australian businesses to focus on the implementation of programs which promote sustainable solutions through the provision of jobs, with training to bridge the skill gap, education and business opportunity,” he said.

He said Fortescue had more than 1,500 indigenous people graduate from its training program.

The company employs more than 1,200 Aboriginal people, equivalent to 12 per cent of its permanent workforce.

Mr Power said it also had awarded more than $1.75 billion in contracts to Aboriginal-owned companies and joint ventures.

“The challenge for Australian business is clear. Set stretch targets for indigenous employment, procurement and business development,” he said.

“Release your targets, report against them and, most importantly, commit to deliver against them.”

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  1. Roger Gerard

    Certainly, this is an important issue. Report after report has shown how far and wide the gap in indigenous disadvantage is, and the gap in employment in particular has flow on effects in terms of alcoholism, domestic violence, health impacts and many other impacts.

    Where possible, addressing this through commercial opportunities as opposed to charity is preferable. Unfortunately, the mining slowdown might also cause a slowdown of indigenous employment opportunities in remote areas.