Aboriginal Australians are indigenous people in mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the adjacent islands. Their population is approximately 400,000 or about 2% of the total population of Australia. When compared to the national average, Aboriginal Australians generally experience high unemployment which can be attributed to their lower educational outcomes. This condition is even greater in remote or rural communities. The high unemployment affects all through the diverse socio-economic indicators in Aboriginal communities which decreases that chances of developing careers among Aboriginal people before they could even start. For this reason, it has been the core responsibility of government agencies to help improve the unemployment outcomes of the Aboriginal Australians.
Aboriginal Employment Strategy has been created in connection with Aboriginal employees and the Commonwealth public agencies to increase employment to Aboriginal Australians. It aims in providing Aboriginal people sustainable long term career path and opportunities across Australia. This strategy not only provides better employment opportunities but prepares them for their chosen career path.
Public sectors across Australia formulated their own kits in accordance with the Aboriginal Employment Strategies. Although different sectors in the Commonwealth public formulate their own strategic plans, they have many things in common in enhancing employment outcomes for Aboriginal people. They help assist in the recruitment, retention initiatives and professional advancement in an environment that is favourable and inclusive for Aboriginal Australians. These are all manifested in policies, programs, behavior and communication within every department.
The New South Wales Police Force, for example, has developed Aboriginal Employment Strategy as an action under the NSW Police Force Corporate Plan. It aims to provide positive employment opportunities and experiences for prospective Aboriginal recruits. It also provides a work environment for Aboriginals that is supportive for their advancement through skills training and career development.
As part of their effort to realize their Aboriginal Employment Strategy goals, all areas and units are urged to refer to the AES in developing plans and procedures. They also conduct trainings to facilitate Aboriginal cultural awareness where every area is encouraged to take part.
The government of South Australia in accordance with AES aims to increase employment of Aboriginal Australians through establishing the foundation for the Department in order to create a powerful contribution in achieving its strategic plans. Becoming the most sustainable and efficient business is its goal. The government aims in increasing the participation of Aboriginal Australians across the South Australian public sector.
Private sector also takes part in promoting Aboriginal employment and many businesses have formulated policies and procedures in accordance with Aboriginal Employment Strategy. These include activities that:
- offer impartial recruitment process;
- promote and provide support to employers in offering sustainable employment opportunities for Aboriginal people;
- provide career development opportunities for Aboriginal workforce;
- urge and support Aboriginal people to participate in trainings and employment opportunities, stay employed and improve their employment prospects in the future;
- acknowledge and accept the contribution of Aboriginal people within the community;
- help Aboriginal communities, business and employers in creating workforce and economic development plans for Aboriginal people that support local as well as overall economic growth;
- help Aboriginal people in developing economic opportunities and sustainable businesses in all areas.
Aboriginal employment strategy is a vital tool in promoting better opportunities and employment for Aboriginal people and in affirming every sector’s commitment, public or private. It is the start of creating organizational changes towards the improvement of employment opportunities among Aboriginal Australians.