Indigenous Employment Programs in Australia

The Indigenous Employment Programs are a 15-month initiative aimed at enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s career prospects and APS experiences. Participants who complete on-the-job training combined with formal instruction earn a nationally recognised diploma-level qualification with a focus on human resources, purchasing, or project management. 

They provide participants with 

  • combine organised training with actual employment; 
  • a credential that is widely recognised on a national level; 
  • training and development opportunities;
  • flexible employment arrangements; 
  • permanent employment; 
  • salary for APS 3 level. 

Participants who complete the program successfully maintain a full-time, permanent job within the department and may progress to a higher classification level. 

Indigenous employment services are searching for people who will contribute, are motivated, energetic, and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Participants must complete APS standards, including security and character clearances, and present documentation of their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry.

Indigenous Graduate Recruitment Program of the Australian Government

Through this program, APS employment is made more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tertiary graduates, who are encouraged to choose the APS as their employer of choice. Graduates gain a solid professional foundation and exposure to public governance through practical experience in a variety of business fields. 

Graduates from tertiary institutions who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander enter the department’s Graduate Program and take part in a 12-month, intensive learning and development program as well as job rotations across several departments. At the conclusion of the program, graduates get substantial support, such as mentoring, accessibility to learning and development opportunities, and interesting ongoing employment options. 

The graduates hold leading positions in the provision of programs, legal services, and policy creation. 

They provide graduates with: 

  • job shifts that offer real-world experience; 
  • a thorough induction program in addition to year-round training and development initiatives; 
  • a reasonable starting wage; 
  • mentorship possibilities;
  • assistance with moving to Canberra from another state;
  • assistance with studies; 
  • flexible working arrangements.

Graduates who complete the program successfully maintain a full-time, permanent job within the department and may move to a higher classification level. 

Graduates must complete all APS standards, including security and character clearances, and present documentation of their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry. They must have a degree or post-graduate certificate that is at least comparable to a three-year Australian undergraduate degree and have earned it no more than four years prior to the start of the program.

Things You May Need to Know About Indigenous Employment Programs

  • Employers May Only Seek Out Indigenous Talent 

The purpose of Australia’s anti-discrimination laws is to prevent unfair treatment of individuals based on their race, culture, gender, religion, age, or disability. In terms of work, this typically means that you cannot recruit or reject someone based on certain traits. There are laws in place; meanwhile, they acknowledge the obstacles that some marginalised communities, including Indigenous Australians, experience, making targeted recruitment desirable. 

Initially, there are “special measure” exceptions designed to aid underprivileged candidates. The second is “real occupational requirements,” which means that a person’s age, sex, colour, or other characteristics must match those of that particular job—for instance, employing an Indigenous candidate to fill the position of an Indigenous liaison officer. 

Those who possess a protected trait may be excluded from special measure requirements. This means that if an employer thinks that by hiring an Indigenous employee, they can end a situation of disadvantage or discrimination, they are legally allowed only to consider hiring Indigenous people. 

  • A Distinct Type of Business

Many Australians simply need their own family and close friends to participate in cultural rituals related to loss, especially that of a loved one. But for many Indigenous people, taking part in cultural activities and norms means involving the entire community. These are marked with the phrase “Sorry Business” in English. 

The biggest noticeable change for employers has to do with time. Usually, Sorry Business necessitates a longer period of leave. It’s also vital to be aware that Sorry Business isn’t just reserved for grieving the loss of a loved one in some communities; it may also be used to express support for those who are ill, in prison, or when something noteworthy happens to an Indigenous monument. 

  • Comprehension of English

According to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, there are 800 separate dialects of the 800 documented Indigenous languages in Australia, 90% of which are deemed endangered (AIATSIS). 

One in nine Indigenous individuals over the age of 15 do not classify English as their first language, while 39% of Aboriginal people and 56% of Torres Strait Islanders have used their native tongue at some point in their lives. 

According to AIATSIS, learning and using traditional language is crucial for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s sense of identity and welfare. 

Indigenous Australians should have access to papers and policies in other languages, just as some organisations provide for their personnel who come from different cultural backgrounds. Remember that this is more complicated than just providing a physical translation of a document. Indigenous employees should be consulted when developing workplace policies or practices. As a general rule, HR should adhere to the straightforward process of consulting, listening, and acting jointly.