AMMA launches program to boost Indigenous employment rates

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has launched a new program to help Indigenous Australians find gainful employment in the resource industry.

A report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that Indigenous Australians have "much lower employment rates than other Australians".

Some of the factors that have been identified as contributing to this prevalent issue are less education and skills, poorer health, lower rates of job retention and living in remote areas with "fewer labour market opportunities".

While there has been a marked increase in the employment rate for Indigenous Australians over the past decade or so, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Indeed, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Alan Tudge, recently claimed the growth of jobs for Indigenous Australians is not keeping up with the growth of our country's population.

The resource industry is one area that has gone above and beyond to increase participation rates for Indigenous Australians.

In fact, Executive Director of the AMMA Scott Barklamb revealed the proportion of Indigenous Australians in the resource industry's labour force is double that of other industries in our country – 3.1 per cent compared with 1.4 per cent.

The AMMA hopes its Skills Connect program will help to boost this figure even more.

Under the program, a group of Indigenous Australians is already working toward the Certificate II in Hospitality, with the ultimate goal of finding employment at one of the mine accommodation villages in Western Australia.

"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," said Mr Barklamb.
He added the AMMA would like to collaborate further with the government on "training and employment initiatives" to help more Indigenous Australians to find work in the resource industry.