Date: 
Tuesday 27 October 2015

Employers looking to hire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a new resource from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

Targeted recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – A guideline for employers’ was developed by the AHRC and the Business Council of Australia (BCA).

The publication was launched this week by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda; the BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott; and Stephen Woodbury, Ashurst partner.

“Despite efforts to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage, the disparity between employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians has increased in recent years,” said Commissioner Gooda.

“Less than half of working-age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are employed, compared to over three quarters of non-Indigenous Australians.

“Increasingly, employers are seeking to create employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through targeted recruitment strategies,” Commissioner Gooda said.

Commissioner Gooda said targeted recruitment strategies include measures such as reserving positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants and guaranteed interview schemes.

Other targeted recruitment strategies include work placements or mentoring programs; and engaging an Indigenous recruitment service to hire employees.

“These guidelines will assist employers by giving them the certainty they need to develop targeted recruitment strategies without concern about breaching discrimination laws,” BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Three quarters of Business Council companies have an Indigenous employment strategy – showing us the commitment is there. But commitment to creating opportunities is one thing, it’s equally important to have an enabling recruitment environment.

“This guide, endorsed by all state and territory discrimination authorities, helps create that environment.

"This means employers are better positioned to help close the employment gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Westacott said.

Download the publication here.