11/04/2016 - 15:35

Sodexo sets 20% indigenous target

11/04/2016 - 15:35

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Mining camp operator Sodexo has pledged to create 400 new jobs for indigenous Australians after becoming the latest company to join the federal government’s employment parity initiative.

Sodexo Australia country president Nick O’Callaghan. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Mining camp operator Sodexo has pledged to create 400 new jobs for indigenous Australians after becoming the latest company to join the federal government’s employment parity initiative.

Indigenous employees currently fill 8 per cent of jobs at Sodexo and the company is aiming to lift that to 20 per cent over the next four years.

This would put Sodexo well above most other contractors in the mining sector, with only a handful of companies achieving more than 10 per cent indigenous employment.

Sodexo’s new pledge adds to a range of indigenous employment initiatives it has pursued in recent years, including school-to-work pathways for students, VTEC traineeship and trades apprentices

The employment parity initiative, launched in March last year, aims to get Australian businesses to increase their indigenous employment to 3 per cent of their total workforce.

Collectively it aims to generate an extra 20,000 jobs for indigenous Australians over the next four years.

Employers to have signed up so far include Crown Resorts, Compass Group, MSS Security and Accor Hotel Group.

Speaking at a launch event today at Kuditj Kitchen, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the program offered tailored contracts and funding assistance.

He said all payments would be linked to participants achieving 26 weeks of employment.

Sodexo Australia country president Nick O’Callaghan said one of the main attractions of the EPI program was the high degree of flexibility it afforded.

He said while training of new job seekers was an important part of Sodexo’s program, it would focus on retention of Aboriginal employees to achieve sustained improvements.

Sodexo’s partners in the program include Tom Price-based Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation, Karratha-based REFAP, Perth-based Karlka Recruiting Group, Cannington-based PEEDAC and the department of corrective services.

For an in-depth report on indigenous training and employment, see the next print edition of Business News, to be published on April 26.

 

 

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