AMID a concerning increase in the Indigenous employment gap, national resource industry employer group AMMA has called for expanded government collaboration with industry-driven initiatives.

This call comes as AMMA launches a new initiative delivering real training and employment outcomes for Indigenous jobseekers in the mining support service sector.

AMMA hopes these practical, job-generating projects can assist in addressing the concerns raised by Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Alan Tudge that Indigenous jobs growth is not keeping up with population increase.

“The resource industry’s success in Indigenous participation is evidenced in the proportion of Indigenous workers in relation to its total workforce (3.1%), which is more than double the all industries average (1.4%). But we must keep the momentum going,” says AMMA executive director Scott Barklamb.

“Under our resource industry-government collaboration project AMMA Skills Connect, we have this week begun inducting a group of Indigenous jobseekers on a fully-funded Certificate II in Hospitality with the view to work at one of Western Australia’s mine accommodation villages.

“This follows another program where unemployed Indigenous people were trained and employed in mine site security. These are real-life examples of what can be achieved when industry and government collaborate to support Indigenous employment.”

In a submission to the Australian Government’s Review of Indigenous Training and Employment, headed by FMG chairman Andrew Forrest, AMMA outlined opportunities for government to expand on the resource industry’s track record of Indigenous participation.

“As we manage the industry’s transition to greater levels of production and prepare for new projects, the resource industry will continue to play a lead role in delivering jobs and economic growth,” Mr Barklamb says.

“AMMA would welcome further collaboration with the Australian Government on training and employment initiatives to assist more Indigenous people to enter resource sectors.

“Andrew Forrest’s review could also address the existing ambiguity around anti-discrimination laws that can prevent employers from targeting job advertisements to Indigenous people.”

AMMA’s submission also recommends better equipping Indigenous businesses to tender for resource industry work and preparing more Indigenous people to take up FIFO/DIDO roles.

“An opportunity exists to research, promote and expand on successful resource industry initiatives to further Indigenous employment prospects throughout our nation,” Mr Barklamb says.

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