Employer of the Year Finalists Announced

Arnhem Land will have a strong contingent at the 2011 NT Training Awards with announcement of Finalists this month.

East Arnhem Shire Council along with the Traditional Credit Union (TCU) and Department of Health (DoH) were announced as finalists for the 2011 NT Training Awards Employer of the Year.

The Employer of the Year award is presented to a business enterprise with more than 20 employees that has demonstrated outstanding commitment and achieved excellence in enabling the provision of nationally recognised training for employees.

East Arnhem Shire Councils application for the 2011 Award was based on the Council endorsed Indigenous Employment Strategy which provides framework for the delivery of improved employment outcomes for Indigenous people throughout the Shire.

The Indigenous Employment Strategy is a holistic approach to employing people and giving them the skill sets they need to be successful. The strategy recognises the need and value of the Indigenous employee’s perspective to the workplace. The Shire aims to increase the employment, retention and advancement of Indigenous employees across all levels of employment throughout the Shire.

A large part of the Indigenous Employment Strategy is the implementation of the Work Readiness for Indigenous People Program, commonly known as the WRIP Project. Outcomes of the WRIP Project will see the issuing of Community Identification Cards and development of Cultural Appropriate Pre-Employment Training.

The WRIP Project was developed in recognition of the barriers that often impede people from getting a job. In many cases, people do not have identification which stops them from gaining basic regulatory licenses such as applying for a Learners Permit for a Drivers License.

East Arnhem Shire Council Community Identification Cards will be acknowledged as a formal piece of identification by the Department of Justice and Motor Vehicle Registry Office. Furthermore, the Shire has developed culturally appropriate resources available to remote communities for Indigenous people with limited literacy and English skills.

East Arnhem Shire Council, Chief Executive Officer, Ian Bodill says in most cases English is the second or third language spoken in communities. By developing interactive ICT educational resources in Yolngu and Anindilyakan, we hope to increase the number of local indigenous people attaining vital qualifications and skills.

“Investing in staff through training is vital to the Shires’ success”.

“We are very proud that 66% of East Arnhem Shire Councils workforce is indigenous. One day we hope to be up there with the Tradition Credit Union, by having over 85% of our workforce filled by local Yolngu and Anindilyakan people” said Bodill.

East Arnhem Shire Council employs over 446 people working in a broad spectrum of services across 12 locations in the Top End. Currently, 104 indigenous employees are enrolled in accredited training through apprenticeships ranging from Cert II & III in Business through to Certificates in Civil Works.

The NT Training Awards are the Department of Education and Training’s (DET) annual premier event recognising training excellence and achievements by Territory businesses, training organisations, apprentices, trainees, trainers and students.

East Arnhem Shire Council, President Banambi Wunungmurra said “The awards are an official recognition of excellence and achievements in gaining the highest standards of knowledge and skills, and contributing to high standards of training and I am extremely proud that only after three years the Shire has gained this recognition from our peers”.

The winner will be announced on September 10 at the Darwin Convention Centre. The winner will travel to Brisbane to represent the Northern Territory at the Australian Training Awards in November.

Media Contact: Aroha Jennings 0457 518 772

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