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Indigenous workers ‘in high demand’

Indigenous workers ‘in high demand’

Indigenous workers 'in high demand'

Businesses across the country are exhibiting strong demand for Indigenous workers, one mining magnate has noted.

Andrew Forrest told reporters last week that any sort of prejudice against Indigenous people needs to be eliminated, as they are offered increased opportunities for labour hire in Queensland and beyond.

Mr Forrest also emphasised the need for employers to get on board with programs that promote the use of Indigenous employees, as they can bring real value to companies throughout Australia.

He said Australia “is better without racism at all” – and the positive results of this mentality are now starting to emerge.

“We are seeing that reflected in the demand of employers to give Aboriginal people a real crack and to expect them to succeed,” Mr Forrest commented.

As society progresses, the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group suggested that attitudes are starting to change, which should offer greater opportunities to Indigenous people and others who have found it difficult to enter the workplace.

This news comes as the government announced a review into Indigenous employment, to which Mr Forrest has been assigned the leader.

He noted that apprentice support will be needed to ensure these individuals succeed in their chosen careers, rather than setting them up for failure as has been the case in the past.

Mr Forrest also urged companies to assign contracts to firms run by Aboriginals in an attempt to level the playing field and ensure success is distributed more evenly.

However, he also called upon Aboriginal people to take steps to ensure their own achievements.

Speaking to WA Today, he said: “Aboriginal people have now got to be expected by themselves to step up and be successful – not anyone else.”

The prime minister has set up the Indigenous Advisory Council to conduct the review, the results of which are expected to be in place by April 7 next year.

The council will meet three times a year with the prime minister and senior government ministers to discuss the most pressing issues, which are ultimately designed to assist the understanding of Indigenous culture.

Tony Abbott hopes that it will result in more opportunities being opened up for Aboriginal people, while also ensuring they are equipped with the skills they need to meet their potential.

The government acknowledged that while some people are participating fully in Australian society, there is still a large proportion that are not.

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