Major companies act to close the gap (The Australian)

23 Oct Major companies act to close the gap (The Australian)

Patricia Karvelas, Political Correspondent

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of major companies creating indigenous job plans in the past year.

A total of 40 companies are offering indigenous engagement initiatives, compared with 28 last year.

New research by the Business Council of Australia confirms the leadership role its members are playing in finding new ways to help close the gap on indigenous employment outcomes, with 29 companies having indigenous employment and/or traineeship strategies, compared with 21 last year.

The new research reveals that 21 companies have specific indigenous employment goals or targets, compared with 14 last year, and 14 companies have completed reconciliation action plans, compared with only nine last year.

And a number of respondents indicated their company was motivated to adopt indigenous engagement initiatives to support Canberra’s “closing the gap” commitments.

BCA chief executive Katie Lahey said the report — Common Ground, Uncommon Results: Closing the Gap — showed member companies were increasingly active in developing creative strategies to increase indigenous engagement in the Australian economy.

The survey was made available to all BCA members, and 46 responses were received — about 40 per cent of the BCA’s total membership.

The vast majority of survey respondents — 87 per cent, or 40 companies — have implemented one or more indigenous engagement initiatives, and 65 per cent — or 30 firms — have a dedicated employee overseeing their implementation. …Go to article.