Source: Daily Liberal
By Angela Clutterbuck
31 May, 2012 04:00 AM
Disadvantaged an untapped resource
MINING companies with a presence in the Dubbo region have been
urged to consider welfare recipients and Indigenous people when
recruiting staff for their burgeoning operations.
The comments by the National Employment Services Association (NESA)
follow the federal government's first enterprise migration
agreement deal, which will allow billionaire Gina Rinehart to
import up to 1715 foreign workers to build the Roy Hill iron ore
project in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
NESA CEO Sally Sinclair said there were many people on
government benefits who, given the right support, were prepared,
willing and able to work in the mining industry.
"What we know, based on evidence from different pockets of
Australia, is that when a mining company comes into an area that if
they work with their local employment providers and look
strategically at how to provide support for local people, there are
good outcomes for jobseekers," she said.
"Many of our members have developed excellent relationships with
a large number of mining companies, demonstrating how a more
inclusive approach to employment can identify many candidates who,
with a bit of support, can meet a lot of their workforce
requirements in ways previously thought too difficult."
Ms Sinclair said OZ Minerals was a company that was setting a
good example when it came to developing strategies to employ and
retain indigenous workers.
Last year the company received the Indigenous Employment and
Retention Award at the Australian Mines and Metals Association 2011
National Conference, and the South Australian Premier's Social
Inclusion in Mining and Energy Award.
"OZ Minerals works with many of our members to employ indigenous
jobseekers, some of whom are very entrenched in disadvantage," Ms
"There are people who didn't have experience in the workforce,
but through training and support are now driving graders and doing
jobs that earn them six-figure salaries," she said.