Australian Indigenous Employment
In line with our commitment to Value People – Respect, Recognise & Reward, IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program aims to increase 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. IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program is continuing to help our business to develop stronger relationships with the community. This year we maintained a target of 2% Indigenous Employment across the Australian businesses. Initiatives undertaken as part of our Indigenous Employment Strategy are described below.
Implementation of the Incitec Pivot Australian Indigenous Relations Policy
Developed during 2013, the Australian Indigenous Relations Policy was implemented across Australia this year. The purpose of this Policy is 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)
Cultural Capability Training
During 2016 we continued to facilitate Indigenous cultural awareness for our employees through direct engagement with traditional owners, participation in events such as as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week, and through online learning. The IPL online Cultural Capability Program for Australian leaders, management and staff was developed in consultation with the Indigenous Community and Traditional Owners of the land in which we operate. Implemented across our Australian businesses in 2015, the program encourages participants to recognise that different cultures have different ways of valuing, seeing, doing and believing, and that to work successfully with people from other cultures we need to know which characteristics are critical.
Indigenous Recruitment and Retention
Traditional HR systems and processes can present barriers for Indigenous people seeking to enter the mainstream workforce. We are working on improving Indigenous employment outcomes and have developed a range of systems to assist Indigenous people overcome these barriers. These include:
• Using local Indigenous networks to identify potential Indigenous candidates
• Focusing more on face-to-face communications
• Ensuring recruitment turnaround times are culturally appropriate
• Developing a work readiness program
Indigenous employees also face particular challenges in balancing work, cultural and family commitments and making the transition to a new organisational and cultural environment. For employees of fly-in, fly-out operations, an added pressure is the need to spend extended periods away from home. Strategies for increasing retention include:
• Provision of cultural awareness training for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees;
• Provision of ongoing mentoring and support via our ‘buddy system’ was extended beyond our Mt Isa and Pilbara Operations this year to all Australian sites with Indigenous employees;
• Provision of career development opportunities;
• Provision of family support; and
• Addressing racism in the workforce.
While the external employment market in Australia has continued to slow in 2016, we have continued to pragmatically work with leaders and the recruitment team to sustain our focus. As we look ahead to 2017 we are looking to implement new and innovative initiatives help increase our Indigenous employee numbers and increase cultural capability for all our employees.