Employing Indigenous Australians

Working together to close the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have much lower employment rates than other Australians, and although these rates have been improving there is a lot more that needs to be done.

Employing Indigenous Australians can offer your business many benefits, while helping to Close the Gap on employment disadvantage. Diversifying your workplace, improving cultural awareness and tapping into a valuable pool of talented employees can make your business stand out and build your reputation for corporate citizenship.

Most organisations already have employees from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Adjusting human resource management practices to make them more attractive to an Indigenous audience is just part of the job of managing a culturally diverse workforce. atWork Australia can help you integrate these practices into your business.

*Our logo was created by local Indigenous graphic designer, Ms Justine Kinney. The logo represents the different pathways Indigenous Australians take on their journey towards fulfilled lives through health and employment. These pathways and the support they receive wrap around the individual, taking into account their culture, their family and their community.

How atWork Australia can help your organisation

atWork Australia is committed to increasing Indigenous employment rates and we work with many culturally aware employers to develop tailored pre-employment assessment and training programs for Indigenous candidates. This customised approach means the candidates placed into employment with your organisation have the right combination of skills and attitudes.

We offer employers:

  • End-to-end recruitment services at no cost to you
  • Job-specific training packages to upskill candidates so they meet your workforce needs
  • Mentoring from our Indigenous Employment Team
  • Help to make candidates work ready (such as helping candidates with driver’s licences, work-related tickets and certificates,  and criminal history checks)
  • Wage subsidies, where relevant
Indigenous woman standing on a footpath with a bag over her shoulder and holding a purple folder

Our expertise in Indigenous employment

atWork Australia was the first employment services provider to deliver Vocational Training and Employment Centre services in Western Australia. This program provides pre-employment and work readiness training, mentoring, support and guaranteed employment for Indigenous candidates.

To date, we’ve supported more than 330 Indigenous Australians into work via the VTEC program, and over 2,000 Indigenous Australians into education or employment across our complementary contracts.

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 the model we adopted and the findings have implications for policy and practice around the world. You can read a copy of the OECD report here.

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 led to the creation of atWork Australia’s Indigenous Employment Services (IES) team. The specialist IES team delivers culturally appropriate and evidence-based employment services, working closely with employers to develop tailored pre-employment training programs to meet their workforce needs.  IES was officially launched during NAIDOC week in 2020.  Read more about the launch event here.

atWork Australia’s IES team, which has 85% Indigenous team members, is pleased to be able to deliver services to employers and Indigenous clients across Perth’s metro area. To find out how our IES team can work together with you please contact us via email or phone 1300 192 649.

We’ve won national awards for our Indigenous employment achievements.

  • In 2018, the success of our VTEC model in the hospitality industry was highlighted by a National Employment Services Association win for Excellence in Collaboration, between atWork Australia, Sodexo and South Metropolitan TAFE.
  • In 2017, our VTEC Coordinator Rob Beattie won the NESA award for Excellence in Indigenous Employment for his exceptional service to the local Indigenous community and for his outstanding performance and achievement within the employment services sector. If you’d like to read a powerful and very personal story about the impact Rob and the VTEC team had, please read My Name is Nobody.
  • In 2016, Sodexo won the NESA Champion Employer of the Year award for its commitment to employing Indigenous Australians in partnership with atWork Australia. Sodexo was one of the first employers to introduce a training program that gives Indigenous candidates a formal qualification as well as guarantee employment on successful completion of the course.


Employers we work with to Close the Gap

Partnering with employers and industry is one way we can work together to address Indigenous employment disadvantage and build a better future for Indigenous Australians.