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BHP Billiton and WA Health invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment programs

AES logo

Wednesday 14 March, 2013 – West Australian businesses and government have demonstrated their commitment to indigenous development by partnering with leading employment service provider, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES), to deliver Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job programs.

As part of the AES’ successful School-Based Traineeship Program, WA Health and BHP Billiton are set to host a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for one- and two-year work placements, equipping them with industry-specific skills, on-the-job-experience and tools necessary for a successful school-to-career transition.

The new partnership with BHP Billiton marks the organisation’s first foray into working alongside an Indigenous employment service provider to host Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees.

AES Perth has set the scene for a landmark year ahead not only by expanding its portfolio of corporate partners but also by appointing a significant new hire.   Russell Simpson has been appointed to the role of business development and operations manager, and brings with him a wealth of experience in roles across indigenous affairs, human resources, government and corporate services.

“I am excited to be onboard with AES Perth and am delighted to be driving these innovative new partnerships with such significant organisations in WA.  Over 30 new trainees from Perth will be inducted to traineeships with various host organisations this month, our biggest intake yet.  Combining these new partnerships and existing relationships with the likes of ANZ and Woodside, this is a huge milestone for indigenous training and employment in WA,” said Russell.

Multinational resources company BHP Billiton has formed a momentous relationship with the AES in 2013, kicking off the year by hosting seven school-based trainees.

Aboriginal Health, a division within the WA Health, will induct seven students into traineeships this month, placing them throughout WA Health corporate divisions and administrative areas in Princess Margaret Hospital.

Jenni Collard, director, Aboriginal Health, said WA Health was excited to be welcoming seven students into two-year school-based traineeships.

“WA Health is strongly committed to increasing the representation and influence of Aboriginal people at all levels across its workforce,” Ms Collard said.

“Employing more Aboriginal people in the health workforce – and supporting them to develop their skills and leadership potential – is an important way of incorporating Aboriginal cultural perspectives into our health services.  The development of career pathways from secondary school into WA Health should lead to increased Aboriginal representation in the WA Health workforce.”

If you would like to know more about the work of the AES and the opportunities available, please visit www.aes.org.au or www.facebook.com/aborginalemploymentstrategy.

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For further information or interviews with Russell Simpson, please contact:

Natalie Cameron / Anna Frilingos / Rosie Schloeffel

DEC on behalf of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy

02 8014 5033 / aes@decpr.com.au

About the AES

The AES seeks to bring about significant positive social change by supporting Indigenous Australians in establishing successful careers. It does this through its Career Preparatory Programs inclusive of school based training, group training, apprenticeships, recruitment services, mentorships and community-based programs.

Nationwide, the AES works closely with a number of Corporate Partners including Australia Post, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Coles, Coates Hire, Westpac, NAB, ANZ, CBA, Telstra, Qantas, Woodside, Nine Entertainment Co, Westfield, Kmart Tyre and Auto who are committed to establishing a generation of Indigenous professionals, changing the face of employment in Australia and improving living standards for thousands of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

During the last 15 years the AES has been responsible for:

  • Delivering over 10,000 skilled career seekers into long-term employment
  • Increasing the current Indigenous Australian workforce by 5%
  • Helping the Government to save over $458 million in funds that otherwise would have been spent on welfare benefits
  • Created a network of more than 40 Corporate Partners, all committed to receiving trainees from the school based traineeship programs and working together to change the face of corporate Australia.