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Our Indigenous Employment team share the key to their success

May 7, 2020

Programmed is deeply committed to supporting the Commonwealth Government’s national priority to halve the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Our Indigenous Employment Services team focus on providing sustainable employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jobseekers.

The team actively work with our customers to identify and create genuine employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Recognising the importance of work for individual and community wellbeing, we also work closely with local community to develop Indigenous Participation Plans and Cultural Heritage Management Plans.

Liz Bird, Programmed’s Indigenous Engagement Manager, heads up a small team of passionate Recruitment Specialists who work on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment opportunities in the Resources and Infrastructure space.

‘Support for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees starts from the first phone call or meeting. We make sure to guide candidates through in-depth interviewing/questioning techniques to help coach them through the process and to ensure that everyone is aligned from the beginning and expectations are managed. Expectations are important to our team as a candidate’s success or failure is key at the interview part of the process.’

This support continues throughout employment with Programmed. ‘Our mobile numbers are given out from the beginning so that we are always contactable’, Liz continues.

Individuals that do not have access to the internet, or a computer/smart phone, are encouraged to attend our offices to do any online inductions that are required. The team has also many initiatives in place to always assist any candidate that is not savvy with computers.

We work closely with our customers who host our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, maintaining open communication and frequent visits by the team to site.

Liz says, ‘Referrals from existing on-site employees, community groups and families are regular, and is a testament to our work. We are seen as an employer of choice for Indigenous people.’

Our customer’s benefit from having access to a strong talent pool of available work-ready Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander on-site employees.

‘We are currently in a recruitment campaign for one of our customers and the target was 65% Indigenous and we are currently sitting well above that at about 70%,’ Liz said.

We also have a number of our on-site employees who have stepped up into a mentor role to younger candidates, furthering their own development and helping to make sure the next generation are supported on-site.

A great example of this is Frank and Jordan working at Newmont Boddington, who act as mentors to new starters and welcome new employees to site. Hear more from Frank and Jordy about their experience by watching the video below.

Frank says of Programmed ‘They have a lot of empathy for our cultural issues. That’s where Programmed is a lot better than a lot of other organisations in regards to their empathy and that’s one aspect that I really enjoy about Programmed. They do take everything we say on board when it comes to cultural issues.’

When asked about the secret of Programmed’s success, Liz says, ‘The quote I always use when people ask me what the secret of our success at Programmed in the Indigenous space is – I always reply with ‘Relationships and Respect’ I have huge respect for the Indigenous community which in turn has gained me respect from them too.’

Programmed strives for diversity, inclusion and equality of our people. We seek a workforce that is representative of the communities we work in. We encourage people of all cultures, gender, age, sexual orientation or abilities to apply.

For more information on how to create a diverse and qualified workforce, contact us today.

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