Australian Indigenous Employment
In line with our commitment to Value People – Respect, Recognise & Reward, IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program aims at increasing the number of opportunities for Indigenous Australians by providing access to employment, education and training as well as focusing on developing cultural understanding and respect within its workforce.
The program is also a key component of IPL’s approach to Diversity and is continuing to help our business to develop stronger relationships with the community. This year we increased our Indigenous Employment across the Australian businesses to 2.6 percent, which positions the Company well to achieve our target of 3 percent by September 2019. Initiatives undertaken as part of our Indigenous Employment Strategy are described below.
The IPL Australian Indigenous Relations Policy
The IPL Australian Indigenous Relations Policy was developed in 2013 to provide guidance to the organisation as to how to strategically increase engagement opportunities with Indigenous Communities so as to benefit Indigenous Australians as well as IPL. The Policy provides a valuable opportunity for IPL to work in genuine partnership with Indigenous Australians and live the IPL Values of “Care for the Community and our Environment” and “Challenge and Improve the Status Quo”.
IPL is taking a best practice approach to improve Indigenous engagement outcomes. Our approach is based on:
• research into organisations who have been working successfully in the area of Indigenous engagement for many years
• an examination of our organisation’s current cultural capability
• working with Indigenous Communities to clarify expectations of IPL
• recognition that reconciliation and self-determination are integral to improving engagement outcomes
As a product of these learnings and to achieve Policy objectives, IPL has identified five organisational policy investment areas and is committed to changing the culture around diversity, policies and practices of IPL where required. These five areas are:
2. Community Development and Engagement
3. Education and Training
4. Indigenous Employment Program
5. Business Development (including sub-contract opportunities)
Celebrating the success of our first three-year Australian Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
In 2015 the IPL Board approved our first Reconciliation Action Plan, which was also endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. The RAP was launched in 2016 and provided us with a framework to outline our vision for reconciliation. It was also a public commitment to implementing and measuring practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The RAP will be reviewed in 2019.
IPL identified five organisational program investment areas and committed to undertaking a significant body of work across these areas, developing the Australian Indigenous Employment Strategy and the Australian Indigenous Relations Policy. IPL’s Indigenous Recruitment Strategy gave effect to IPL’s long-term sustainable commitment to increasing the participation, retention and advancement of Indigenous people within its workforce. It is different from many other Indigenous employment initiatives in that it is not a dedicated stand-alone Indigenous program. Instead, it comprises systematic changes, designed and implemented to embed leading Indigenous engagement and recruitment practices into IPL's existing recruitment processes.
During the past three years, IPL has modified its existing Human Resources (HR) and recruitment practices to build the recruitment team’s capability to undertake targeted Indigenous recruitment. This has involved a range of policy, procedural and systems changes to incorporate and embed leading Indigenous recruitment practices into the existing IPL HR and recruitment process, including:
• the modification of advertisements, including where these are advertised, to increase the sourcing of quality Indigenous candidates, which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of applications received by Indigenous candidates; and
• implementation of cultural capability training across the IPL workforce to create a more culturally competent organisation and be seen as an employer of choice for Indigenous candidates.
The Strategy has been an overwhelming success, leading to an increase in the number of Indigenous employees across IPL’s Australian operations from 1.76 percent in March 2015 to 2.6 percent in 2018. This represents an increase of 47 percent over the period of the RAP.
Since 1 October 2017, these efforts have resulted in Indigenous candidates representing 5.46% of all applications. This high application rate demonstrates we are seen as an employer of choice for Indigenous candidates.
A flow-on effect of this success is the number of Indigenous candidates being shortlisted, many of whom have never been exposed to such a robust recruitment and interview process. This has assisted a large number of Indigenous candidates to further develop their interview techniques and become more familiar with the cognitive, numerical and medical testing associated with the recruitment processes of larger companies.
As an organisation, we continue to be committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, other key stakeholders and government agencies to extend the
goals set out in our first three-year RAP. We aim to continue to find the most innovative and efficient solutions to our challenges by exploring opportunities within the industry, partnering in other stakeholder initiatives, seeking out opportunities across both the private and public sector.
We are delighted with the success of the 2015-2018 RAP and aim to build upon these successes as we design IPL’s new RAP during 2019. The Company will continue to implement strategies to attract Indigenous employees, including continuing our partnership with Career Trackers, a not-for-profit organisation that creates internship opportunities for Indigenous university students.