Office for the Public Sector

People

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Aboriginal Painting

As a public sector we are working to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the South Australian public sector.

The Office for the Public Sector is responsible for South Australia’s Strategic Plan (SASP) Target 53:  Increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the South Australian public sector, spread across all classifications and agencies, to 2% and maintain or better those levels through to 2020.

Our plan to achieve this target brings specific activities together under three main action areas:

  1. Align Aboriginal labour supply with public sector demand by connecting engagement, skill development and employment strategies
  2. Implement Aboriginal-specific measures to increase levels of Aboriginal employment
  3. Strengthen departmental programs by introducing Aboriginal-specific targets and by driving cooperation between key stakeholders.

As part of this plan, [email protected] ran a 90-day project looking at Aboriginal employment career pathways in the public sector.

Research has demonstrated a comparable over-representation of Aboriginal employees in operational roles and an under-representation in management and leadership roles. This reinforces the need for a renewed long-term commitment across the public sector to stimulate and underwrite Aboriginal leadership and professional development outcomes in order to achieve parity with non-Aboriginal public sector employees.

This project aimed to look at strategies to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the South Australian public sector. It undertook two surveys, one with HR representatives and another with Aboriginal employees.

Aboriginal Employment in SA

An initiative of the Governor’s Aboriginal Employment Industry Clusters Program, Aboriginal Employment SA helps connect job seekers with employment opportunities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Sector Mentoring Program

Mentoring is a powerful and engaging way to progress a person’s professional and personal development through a relationship of trust. It provides considerable benefits to the mentee and is both rewarding and beneficial to the mentor.

The Office for the Public Sector (OPS) is inviting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander public sector employees to engage in mentorships as mentors or mentees.

Who can apply?

Existing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander public sector employees across all classification levels in the South Australian Public Sector.

Application forms for mentors and mentees are available below.

For further information, contact Kelly Harrington (08) 8226 2663.

 

Jobs4Youth

Of the 188 trainees Jobs4Youth hired in 2014, 54 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Jobs4Youth aims to recruit 200 young trainees into the South Australian public sector each year for four years. In its first year, 2014, the program focussed on trainees only, and recruitment efforts were focused on areas of high unemployment such as the northern, southern and some regional areas.

Young Aboriginal people were made aware of the opportunities through information sessions in the city and northern and southern region and advertising through Maxima. These sessions allowed job seekers to:

  • ask questions about the traineeships
  • gain an understanding about the roles and employer workplace expectations
  • access a computer to submit their application.

Information was also distributed through a network of employers, schools, training and community organisations connected to and working with Aboriginal people. Maxima Group (contracted to undertake recruitment) also used their Aboriginal networks to attract candidates.

Aboriginal job seekers received encouragement and assistance in the application process to ensure they had the best possible opportunity of securing one of the traineeships.

Of the 188 trainees hired in 2014, 54 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This is a huge step in increasing the employment of Aboriginal people across the public sector and reinforces the importance of employer, service provider and community engagement in improving employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. To date, the 2014 program has 70% retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees.

The value of the Jobs4Youth program is illustrated in the following success stories.

Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Cluster

South Australia has a unique and innovative approach to Aboriginal employment through the Aboriginal Employment Industry Cluster initiative. Seven Industry Clusters exist across advanced manufacturing, community services, energy, water and resources, hospitality, professional services, retail and the South Australian public sector. They are each led by a senior industry champion and aim to address the under-representation of Aboriginal people in their respective workforce.

The senior industry champion for the Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Cluster is Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri.

The Cluster promotes a coordinated and consistent approach to Aboriginal employment and training across the public sector to support agencies to achieve their existing Aboriginal employment and up-skilling targets by:

  • agreeing on baseline data for Aboriginal employment
  • identifying the gap between the baseline data and agency targets
  • establishing projects with clear timeframes and targets to close the gap between the baseline data and agency targets
  • promoting the implementation of the Cultural Inclusion Framework to improve cultural competence across the public sector
  • supporting participating agencies to develop agency Aboriginal Employment Strategies
  • promoting the benefits of employing Aboriginal people within their agencies
  • identifying and addressing barriers to Aboriginal employment within the sector, citing the 2010 Don Dunstan Foundation Report into Aboriginal Employment in the Public Sector
  • identifying best practice models and strategies of recruitment, retention, up-skilling and cultural competence.

The Cluster is currently working on:

  • implementing consistent recruitment and retention processes
  • a Cultural Competency and Inclusion Framework
  • identifying and determining demand for public sector jobs.

Communicating Confidently - A Guide to appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Terminology

This resource was developed with the assistance of the SA Aboriginal Employment Cluster and the Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement.

It is a valuable reference resource for all South Australian Public Sector employees as we work towards increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation rates across all classifications

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