atWork Australia held NAIDOC Week celebrations recently at a Perth head office event, with guests including local businesses, RTOs and training providers, Indigenous jobseekers and atWork Australia staff. The 2020 NAIDOC Week theme of Always Was, Always Will Be resonates strongly with atWork Australia’s past, present and future commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous employment outcomes.
Guests at the 2020 NAIDOC week launch of atWork Australia’s Indigenous Employment Services
atWork Australia was the first Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) provider in Perth and has placed more than 355 Indigenous Australians into meaningful and sustainable employment from the beginning of the contract to its conclusion this year. Outside of VTEC, atWork Australia has placed more than 2,530 Indigenous Australians into education or employment via its complementary services, including jobactive, Disability Employment Services and ParentsNext.
Michael Kolomyjec, atWork Australia’s Group Executive said, “While we are not an Indigenous-owned organisation and can no longer deliver VTEC, the success of this employer-driven model in achieving sustainable employment has led to the creation of atWork Australia’s Indigenous Employment Services (IES) team. The specialist IES team will deliver culturally appropriate and evidence-based employment services, working closely with employers to develop tailored pre-employment training programs to meet their workforce needs.
“Our strong track record in Indigenous employment is due, in part, to the lasting relationships we have established with employers over the years. We work with organisations that are similarly committed to closing the gap for Indigenous Australians; organisations that actively collaborate with employment services providers to improve job and industry-specific training and provide employment pathways with sustainable outcomes,” Mr. Kolomyjec said.
atWork Australia’s new IES team, which has 65% Indigenous team members, is pleased to be able to deliver services to employers and Indigenous clients across Perth’s metro area.
“Partnering with employers and industry, and delivering a holistic, culturally aware employment program is one way we can work together to address Indigenous employment disadvantage and build a better future for all Australians,” said Mr Kolomyjec.
An Indigenous artwork commissioned for atWork Australia in honour of the new IES team was unveiled during the NAIDOC Week event. The artwork was painted by Wayne Combo from Linkforce, a long-standing employer partner. Showcasing atWork Australia’s sites across the Perth North and South Regions, the artwork has been proudly displayed in head office and is a striking reminder about our organisational commitment to improving employment disadvantage for all Australians.
Wayne Combo with his beautiful art work for the atWork Australia WA head office
Although The Hon Ken Wyatt, Minster for Indigenous Australians, was unable to attend the NAIDOC Week event, he sent a message in honour of the celebrations:
“… This year we come together in a different way, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic, and while we might be celebrating our community, culture and history virtually, or in smaller number, it does not diminish our strength or reason to be proud of our achievements.
I wish you well in your NAIDOC Week celebrations and hope that you use this opportunity to unite and continue to forge a stronger path towards reconciliation.”
The Hon Ken Wyatt
About atWork Australia’s Indigenous Employment Services
atWork Australia delivers Indigenous Employment Services as part of the Australian Government’s jobactive program. A no-cost service for employers, jobactive offers a recruitment solution for any sized business across many different industries, while ensuring a holistic, client-centred service for Australians seeking employment.
atWork Australia’s successful employer partnerships and excellence in Indigenous employment has been recognised multiple times in the National Employment Services Association (NESA) awards. In 2019, atWork Australia was one of a handful of organisations consulted for an OECD report into Indigenous employment best-practice. The report highlighted the success of atWork Australia’s approach and the findings have gone on to have implications for employment policy and practice around the world.