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The main information goes here and the dot points follow on: Dot point goes here How does this affect me? Improving Indigenous Participation Rates IRS.

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Presentation on theme: "The main information goes here and the dot points follow on: Dot point goes here How does this affect me? Improving Indigenous Participation Rates IRS."— Presentation transcript:

1 The main information goes here and the dot points follow on: Dot point goes here How does this affect me? Improving Indigenous Participation Rates IRS of WA 2008 Annual Convention John Kirwan CEO, Launceston General Hospital Commissioner for Public Employment, NT, 2002-06

2 Is Aboriginal employment an IR issue? Is it a hot topic?

3 “Employment is the cornerstone of participation in modern Canadian society. [It] is not only a source of income: it is also the basis for self-respect and autonomy.” Michael Mendelson. Aboriginal People in Canada’s Labour Market: Work and Unemployment, Today and Tomorrow. Ottawa. Caledon Institute of Social Policy. March 2004.

4 Acknowledge the traditional owners Acknowledge the work of Wendy Ah Chin Principal of JKC CEO LGH, DHHS, Tasmania Formerly CPE NT EGM PH&P, HDWA GM Workforce Reform, HDWA Union Official, HSUA WA

5 “Work is central to people’s well-being. In addition to providing income, work can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement, strengthening individuals, their families and communities. Such progress, however, hinges on work that is decent. Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives.” ILO’s vision of decent work.

6 Is Aboriginal employment an IR issue? Is it a hot topic? So given the cultural and spiritual needs of the oldest living culture on this planet, who has responsibility for work design, cultural leave provisions, flexible work arrangements, housing conditions, training provisions and allowances, family leave, the definition of a family……….and how are we going?

7 “Unemployment is associated with a variety of problems and pathologies, from higher divorce rates to higher incidences of alcoholism. And the relationship is not just a correlation: there is a causal connection. Some individuals can keep themselves happy and gainfully “employed” without a job. But for many, employment – the fact that someone else recognizes their “contribution” by paying them – is important.” Joseph E Stiglitz. Employment, social justice and social well- being. International Labour Review. Vol 141. 2002.

8 Why is having a job important? –social justice/social inclusion; –the responsibility to treat staff as an asset not a cost of production; –The impact work has for an individual, their family and the community; –Work/employment, education, health, social cohesion are all interrelated; –current and emerging shortages in staff and skills; –Economic benefit to the community.

9 Why is having a job important? –demographic changes; –supporting culturally secure services and workplaces; –provision of quality services to the community; –the positive advantage of cultural diversity within the workforce; –a workforce that reflects the population it serves; and –many Governments have a policy to improve Indigenous participation rates

10 People’s health suffers because of the social conditions in which they live and work.” Interview with Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. WHO. 2008.

11 What does the research tell us we should be doing now? –Ensuring partnerships with universities and tertiary institutions, and offering supported placements for Indigenous students in professions such as nursing, medicine, teaching and business management. –Identification of a career paths across the full range of government and community activities through which an employee can progress through their working life from entry level to senior roles.

12 What does the research tell us we should be doing now? –Commitment to the identification of and support for the development required for staff to progress from role to role. –Placing an emphasis on pathways between education, training and skills development –Ensuring that job descriptions evolve as staff members develop and additional skills are identified.

13 What does the research tell us we should be doing now? - Provision of early advice to new employees about available opportunities, and how those opportunities can be realised. –Implementation of a strategy to identify potential recruits, together with a retention program. The recruitment strategy should include the design of positions to match the skills and experiences of individuals, while the retention program should include the recognition of those cultural imperatives that affect retention.

14 What does the research tell us we should be doing now? –Support for the individual choices of Indigenous staff who wish to move from identified positions to mainstream positions. –Provision of full-time study leave to assist professional development and career progression. –Development of a job rotation program so that after a specified period (say, 3 years) staff are provided with the opportunity to act in another position to gain experience.

15 What does the research tell us we should be doing now? –Creation, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees, of secondment opportunities between employers and community-controlled organisations. –Promoting employers as good workplaces and industries as desirable place to work. –Provision to students at year 9 and above of generic job information to alert them to the wide range of opportunities that exist. –Employment of Indigenous human resource management practitioners.

16 “People in poverty go through each day with the will to survive, but without the support and possibilities to move up the ladder of opportunity. Imagine where their efforts could take them if that ladder were in place. Our common responsibility is to help put it there”. Remarks by Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Office at the Council of Ministers of the African Union. Maputo, Mozambique. 8 July 2003.

17 What is working? Mining industry NTPS Alice Springs Desert Park NICP Norforce/ADF NT DEET Centerlink CDU Unit on Indigenous Employment NT Parliament/Cabinet

18 Common mistakes, problems and challenges Glossy policies with a limited number of evaluations Repetition of past programs, limited innovation Failure to link health, education and employment at the levels it is needed Use of outmoded approaches such as quotas/% and add on programs rather than making Indigenous employment a mainstream issue Failure to provide culturally secure workplaces

19 Common mistakes, problems and challenges Lack of leadership, where it is provided it is individually based or one organisation only and lost once they move on Seen as a HR issue not a management issue Limited or no accountability Limited or no focus on the data/evidence or follow up failures or successes

20 Common mistakes, problems and challenges Limited understanding of the lead times required, in some professions, 10 years or more and the level of support required Focus on lower level/entry level and Aboriginal specific jobs Work design still based on 19/20 th century division of work, pre and post industrial UK, with a one size fits all and protection of the ‘guilds’ flavour No focus on the needs of the potential workforce, even the customers, clients, patents we serve! Climatic, cultural and geographic needs ignored

21 CDU Indigenous Employment (HRM301) http://eagle.ntu.edu.au/NTU/Apps/unitre.nsf/ w41/7261A1DB6C025BFE692571DE0031 B574?openDocument

22 “Of greatest concern is the contribution unemployment makes to the general malaise and hopelessness experienced by Indigenous people in some communities”. Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle [Little Children are Sacred]. Report of the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse. Northern Territory Government. 2007.

23 Eleven dot points that can be used as a self assessment test for your organisation from the NT

24 Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle findings There was a lack of opportunity for employment providing real wages. High rates of unemployment affected individuals’ self- esteem, disposable income and personal relationships, and led to feelings of boredom and hopelessness. The lack of real employment destroyed the link between education and employment and, as a result, had a negative impact on commitment to education. There was a history of lost employment. The majority of current employees had ‘white faces’.

25 Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle findings There is workforce segmentation, with the higher paid and more prestigious jobs being undertaken by non-aboriginal staff. Aboriginal employees were seen only in Aboriginal-specific positions which, predominantly, were lower paid, skilled, qualified and paid. Many employees were part time, and were engaged on CDEP. There was reliance for a range of essential services on staff employed on CDEP. There were too many short term/pilot programs, rather than sustainable long-term employment generating initiatives. The NTGs IECDS had had only limited success.

26 Is there a new way forward? Skills development and career pathways “The increasing pace of economic, social and technological change, coupled with the growing need to seize opportunities opening up in a rapidly-integrating world economy requires continuous policy and institutional adaptation. It has been increasingly recognised that people’s skills and capabilities, and investment in education and training, constitute the key to economic and social development. Skills and training increase productivity and incomes, and facilitates everybody’s participation in economic and social life.” International Labour Organisation. Website: Training and vocational guidance. http://www.ilo.org/global/Themes/Skills__Knowledge_and_Em ployability/Training/lang--en/index.htm.

27 Is there a new way forward? Grow-your-own “Grow-your-own workforce strategies are characterised by two important features. First, they look to local labour markets as a key source of workforce supply. Second, they encourage organisations to use the skills and talents of their existing unregistered – or not formally qualified – workforce more effectively.” Grow Your Own, Creating the conditions for sustainable workforce development, Gita Malhotra, Kings Fund, UK, August 2006

28 Is there a new way forward? Identify where gains can be made and develop strategies Consult with the Aboriginal staff and communities, eg IPAA NT IEF Redesign the jobs from the bottom up Use the ‘both ways’ model to develop jobs and career paths that merger the needs of Aboriginal staff and employers

29 Is there a new way forward? Grow your own Do not create black job ghettoes Create, map and promote career pathways Develop workplace arrangements that address cultural, regional and climatic conditions Evaluate, document, share, celebrate

30 Is Aboriginal employment an IR issue? Is it a hot topic? Who is responsible for job design, classifications and selection criteria? developing your skills matrix and career pathways? the rates of pay and the work value assessment tools? ensuring a culturally secure workplace? the unemployed and under employed in our society? your current and future human capital? Indigenous economic development? Who………will make a difference…..or is it too hot?


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