As previous research indicates (CBT/IE/PDG-NT research project), many community members have qualifications but struggle to secure work due to lacking the experience or confidence to compete for jobs or to prosper in a current role. Candidates require less focus on educational services and a greater concentration on practical activities, work placement and building confidence and foundation skills. Through PDG-NT, locals can share a portion of the job market and be involved in infrastructure development projects and other essential services in their own community, promoting local ownership and participation.
Due to the challenges in recruiting local Indigenous job seekers, there is a consensus amongst employers that outsourcing to a local Indigenous employment group is highly favourable, particularly those industries who are subject to local Indigenous procurement initiatives. PDG-NT have secured and maintains some current service contracts with government and private sectors in the construction & civil industry. Skilled Indigenous labourers were provided to, for example; Harvey Developments on local infrastructure projects, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics and the Department of Mines & Energy.
Retention has always been one challenge within the scope of Indigenous employment, sometimes having a subliminal bearing on recruitment and engagement. As many Indigenous people want to work, there are often social, cultural and family issues which impact on the ability of many to focus on their work commitments, which in essence is secondary to the former.
Good planning and strategic measures can be capitulated within the framework of a sound Indigenous community employment strategy or program and training. This approach is best applied within a broader community pre-employment program structure, in phase implementation to initiate a developmental process to promoting job ready candidates. The emphasis should focus on streamlining industry associated training to link employment with ‘on the job’ training while employing an effective mentoring program.
The process should incorporate the following:
- Civil Construction
- Work/Life Balance and Alcohol Management Workshop
- Money Management
- Alcohol Management
Cross Cultural Awareness:
- Preparation for the Workplace
- Sub-cultural Workplace Values
- The mentoring component of the project to be a vital key in the success of all training programs and the overall initiative. This has been evident to date.
- It is proposed that the overarching mentoring role will be carried out by PDG-NT who are not only local, but also are already acknowledged as a local Indigenous business and employer. We have a number of local people already on our books that can engage with the local community in a meaningful and effective way.
- The mentoring element will be built into all training activities and employment roles with direct links to various community networks, training providers, and employers.
- Comprehensive mentoring envisioned to involve working to support employees in their home environment and referrals to relevant programs or services, as per need/request.