EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLE

NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

Developing options for boosting job opportunities in indigenous communities

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council is a statutory corporation established to protect and promote the best interests of Aboriginal people in the state. Under the 1983 Aboriginal Land Rights Act, the gamut of the NSWALC encompasses economic, social and cultural matters as well as land rights.

Despite years of investment, Aboriginal employment levels remain significantly below those for other citizens. To help close this gap, the Council embarked on a new and innovative strategy, NASWLC Employment and Enterprises.

Brief

HKA was retained to support the development of two projects within this broad strategy. These focus on employment pipeline management and labour brokerage.

NSWALC had identified a disconnection between employers – especially on large private and public contracts – and potential employees from the Aboriginal community. There was also anecdotal evidence that large construction companies struggled to meet their indigenous procurement obligations.

HKA’s role was to investigate the employment market, and explore the potential opportunities for increasing the recruitment of Aboriginal workers, including NSWALC acting as an employment broker.

What we did

HKA planned a programme of research, analysis and consultation designed to generate options for consideration by NSWALC and implementation in two phases.

Our approach was to:

• Research demographics and review government policy and guidelines to understand the context and requirements.

• Analyse the infrastructure pipeline by location, sector and asset type, and the skill sets in demand.

• Review the analysis of the labour supply carried out for another NAWLC project, an Aboriginal Training Academy.

• Engage with the market through consultations with a sample of construction contractors and labour hire organisations.

• Collate the findings and analyse them to identify potential solutions.

Having assessed their viability, our consultants proposed options for NSWALC to implement in phase one. We also set out the potential risks and returns for each option, along with the appropriate team structure and mechanics, financial models and projections.

The initial phase of engagement with employers and government bodies focuses on Western Sydney and constructions jobs arising from major projects such as the second Sydney airport, broader Aerotropolis development, other transport infrastructure and the state infrastructure plan. Other sectors – including health and social assistance – and locations would be targeted in phase two.

NWSALC’s Employment unit would also build its Aboriginal employment brokerage capacity in two phases: through partnership arrangements with labour hire service providers, initially, before potentially establishing its own labour hire business, either independently or as a joint venture.

Outcomes

The new NSWALC strategy has been developed to enhance the effectiveness of employment services provided for Aboriginal people through its network of 120 local land councils.

This employment strategy is based on a robust understanding of the needs of employers and the labour market.

Subject to the business case, the recommended options would allow NSWALC to act as a broker between potential employers and the Aboriginal workforce, latent and current.

Our findings will also inform the training and support to be provided under the new NSWALC strategy.

"The new NSWALC strategy has been developed to enhance the effectiveness of employment services provided for Aboriginal people through its network of 120 local land councils.

Subject to the business case, the recommended options would allow NSWALC to act as a broker between potential employers and the Aboriginal workforce, latent and current."
Project Details
  • Client
    New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council
  • Year
    2018
  • Services
    Advisory
  • Sectors
    Infrastructure