Opportunities – Employment of Aboriginal people

"The business benefits [of employing Aboriginal people] are quite considerable. The engagement and development of our staff as they participate with Indigenous individuals and organisations is plain to see, it's a fantastic outcome for all staff."

– Peter Nash, Australian Chairman KPMG

Why opportunities are important

Sustained employment is key to the economic and social well-being of all Australians. For Aboriginal people to enjoy the benefits that flow from employment, they need to have jobs to do. There is a Victorian Aboriginal workforce ready and willing to work, but currently very few are employed in Victoria’s 79 councils.

We encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work in Victorian local government. Our careers section has information about jobs available at the MAV and in councils.

Statistics at a glance

  • Over 12,000 Aboriginal people are in the labour force in Victoria, with a further 2,800 are registered as unemployed
  • The unemployment rate for Aboriginal people is 18.9 per cent, three times the general rate of 6.5 per cent
  • In 2008, COAG committed to halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians by 2018.

Top three actions councils can do to make a difference

1. Getting to the job – attraction and recruitment

  • Decide to actively seek Aboriginal candidates for all vacant positions
  • Develop and promote council's approach to Aboriginal employment in existing employment strategies, and articulate this on the council website
  • Include wording on job advertisements that candidates from culturally diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, are encouraged to apply.

2. On the job – induction and retention

  • Undertake cultural awareness training for line managers and the team where the Aboriginal employee will be working
  • Consider options for linking new Aboriginal staff with other Aboriginal employees in your council, or if there are none, other contacts who could assist
  • Provide clarity about council requirements and expectations about bereavement and cultural leave.

3. Procurement

Resources

Victorian local government Aboriginal employment framework