Closing the gap & opening a door for Indigenous Australians

Closing the gap remains on the agenda of some businesses, as the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced its new Indigenous Employment Program in partnership with Mission Australia.

Aimed at bosting Indigenous employment in the hospitality industry, the new program will place 60 Indigenous job seekers in positions in Australian InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels within the next 12 months.

“This partnership is about opening doors and creating opportunities for Indigenous Australians to get a start in the hospitality industry,” Mission Australia employment Solutions Project Manager Natalie Therese said.

The IHG last year set a target of ensuring that at least 3 percent of its Australian workforce were Indigneous Australians within three years, through the launch of their Reconciliation Action Plan.

IHG Chief Operating Officer Bruce McKenzie said that the real impact in closing the gap happens at a community level, and that by “working alongside Mission Australia, we’ll be providing sustainable training, education, employment and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”

Recent ABS results showed last years unemployment rates for Indigenous Australians to be three times that of non-Indigenous Australians.

“Mission Australia currently has 3,700 active Indigenous job seekers registered…we see this as a step in the right direction towards tackling Indigenous employment across Australia,” Therese added.

The application process will involve screening and training ahead of an interview, with successful candidates receiving a traineeship with IHG to achieve a Certificate III in Hospitality Operations, and a mentor to help them succeed in their new job.

“It’s initiatives like this that will make the strongest impact in the ongoing call for sustainable opportunities for indigenous Australians.  We can’t wait to get started,” McKenzie added.

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