Forrest Celebrates 10,000 Indigenous Jobs
Posted: 05/01/2012 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
Under the Australian Employment Covenant (AEC), billionaire mining mogul Andrew Forrest has celebrated the creation of 10,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians.
New figures released by the AEC revealed that companies owned by Mr Forrest helped bring over 10,500 indigenous Australians off welfare and into the workforce.
On the occasion, Mr. Forrest took the chance to criticize the Federal Government’s record on indigenous employment.
He said the retention rate of Indigenous workers employed by AEC companies was 71 per cent after six months, compared to the 45 per cent in three months for those who found work under the Federal Government's own employment agency, Job Services Australia.
Mr Forrest attributed the success of the AEC to employer-led training and said that indigenous workers were trained to meet specific employer requirements.
Conversely, he criticized the Federal Government’s system for not being as effective because employers were not closely involved.
"If you've lost over half the people you placed in three months, what system is that?" Mr Forrest said.
"Of course the people who get used and abused in that is the Aboriginal people who become correctly cynical when they're not holding work down because they're not real jobs.
"The only person who matters - the employer - must be asked what do you want to make an indigenous person valuable on their first day at work? Until that question gets asked and answered, then acted upon, the disparity will stay in Australia."
The Australian reports that the AEC’s chief executive Rhonda Parker has also highlighted flaws in the Government’s employment initiatives.
“Rhonda Parker said she had heard of one South Australian town in which 11 young women trained for hairdressing apprenticeships despite the nearest hairdresser being hundreds of kilometres away.”
"Training has been essential to what the AEC employers are doing, putting a guaranteed job in front of an indigenous person, their aspirations have changed to a pathway not just into a job but to a career."
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