Building the local Aboriginal workforce and apprenticeship opportunities

Building the local Aboriginal workforce and apprenticeship opportunities

Wed 31 January, 2018

An innovative approach by the State Government to awarding building construction and maintenance contracts will generate multiple positive outcomes for Aboriginal people living the in the Kimberley and Pilbara.

The Department of Communities has established a panel of local builders with the capacity to deliver construction and refurbishment works, while meeting the North-West Aboriginal Housing Funds’ training and employment targets.

The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund is a major initiative of the State Government’s regional services reform and one of 10 priority actions in the Resilient Families; Strong Communities roadmap. The Fund focuses on increasing employment and training opportunities as a pathway to economic empowerment for local Aboriginal people. 

The three successful builders on the panel are all Aboriginal registered businesses including:

Each company has demonstrated their commitment to growing the local Aboriginal workforce, including delivering mentoring programs that attract, retain and develop young apprentices.

Director General, Department of Communities, Grahame Searle said that creating strong, sustainable and resilient  communities is fundamental to the reform agenda.

“The builder’s panel initiative was developed from the learnings my team have gained and shared over the past 18 months.  It is the first ‘business as usual’ collaborative partnership between Housing and the Reform Unit, which is focussed on achieving positive, long term change for Aboriginal people.

“We all have a role to play in changing the status quo. There are things government can do, things communities can do and things only families can do. This initiative allows local businesses to take a lead role in growing the local workforce and set the benchmark for others to follow.” Mr Searle said.

General Manager, Kullarri Building, Jeff White said he is confident Kullarri Building will achieve the minimum 40 per cent Aboriginal employment target for Kimberley projects.

“It is great to see government thinking differently about the way it awards contracts by staging the capital works over four years. This way, it will maximise apprenticeships and provide some stability for local businesses.

“Apprenticeships offer an important pathway from school to work for local Aboriginal students, giving them an opportunity to get a head start in their chosen career without having to leave the region for study or job opportunities.” Mr White said.

The establishment of this Panel will not only result in increased Aboriginal employment and participation in training and apprenticeships, it will also increase the government procurement of goods and services from local Aboriginal businesses.

Minister Tinley, with successful builders MGC Building & Maintenance Pty Ltd, Kullarri Building Pty Ltd and H&M Tracey Construction Pty Ltd.

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Last reviewed: 31 Jan 2018