How-to guide: reaching indigenous employment targets

Few jurisdictions in Australia comes close to reaching their target employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but a new implementation guide from the Australian Public Service Commission may help.

The guide was designed for the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy, which has a target of only 3% by 2018 — for comparison, the NSW Department of Justice last week announced a 6% target by 2017. Nonetheless, the guide covers techniques that could apply to any public sector organisation trying to reach indigenous employment targets, from attracting applicants and recruitment pathways through to mentoring and talent management to foster a workplace where indigenous Australians can reach the most senior ranks.

The guide draws on the successful practices in federal APS departments and agencies, such as the Department of Defence’s Specialist Recruiting Team—Indigenous, and the many reconciliation actions plans adopted in an increasing number of bodies.

For example, the Department of Social Services reached its own target of 4% by 2016 a year early by circulating vacancies through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff networks and promotion the use of “identified” positions.

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