1st Mar 2012

Linking employers and Indigenous workers

More and more businesses along the CSG pipeline are seeking to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Whether it is a local business employing one new staff member or a HR Manager implementing an Indigenous Employment Strategy across an organisation, locating the right individual or a pool of suitably qualified individuals is often challenging.

The personalised, professional approach of Indigenous Workstars is supplying a solution for many businesses from Surat and Moranbah to Gladstone and Mackay.

The strength of Indigenous Workstars can be traced back to its origins – specialists with close ties to Indigenous communities conducting face-to-face interviews of thousands of candidates throughout the region, detailing candidates' employment profile, aspirations, skills and qualifications.

Funded by the Australian Government, Indigenous Workstars provides a free employment/recruitment service to employers through combining the best elements of several employment models.

As opposed to some employment services, Indigenous Workstars approaches and screens its candidates directly rather than waiting for candidates to make the first move.

Representatives from Indigenous Workstars approach communities and townships where candidates voluntarily register and undertake the survey. The search for candidates is targeted to areas of high industry growth such as the CSG pipeline, and its surrounding regions.

Indigenous Workstars is an initiative of John Pearson Consulting (JPC). JPC General Manager said that the company's expansion along the CSG corridor was boosted by the industrial activity taking place and the opportunity for the company to replicate some of their already successful program.

"We have successfully worked hand-in-hand with Indigenous people over several years now, and we can bring similar expertise to our employment programs throughout the CSG corridor," said Tim.

The Indigenous Workstars website provides a meeting place for employers and jobseekers, and employers are able to search for suitable candidates using the Workstars online employment database. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes before individual candidates are listed, with the survey acting as a virtual initial interview, saving employers time and money.

There is a broad range of qualifications and experience reported by Workstars participants – everything from entry level through to full qualified tradespeople and professionals.

Once an Indigenous Workstars candidate is placed, Workstars offers mentoring and on-the-job support to assist new employees to adjust. Workstars Training and Employment Consultants (TECs), skilled employment professionals with strong local knowledge, are located at various centres along the CSG corridor.

The organisation continues to develop strong working relationships with many employers, and according to Phil Winzer, Manager of Employment Initiatives, this is set to increase.

"Many contractors along the CSG pipeline corridor are already successfully working with us to place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into sustainable employment," said Phil.

"We have assisted with opportunities in construction, security, transport and oil and gas exploration and drilling.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the region are keen to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the growth of the industry, and we have a large pool of motivated and skilled Indigenous people looking for the right opportunity and keen to develop a career in the industry."

The search function in the Indigenous Workstars (www.workstars.com.au) is just the start. If you leave an enquiry, an Indigenous Workstars representative will contact you within 24 hours.

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