Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Government welcomes Australian Employment Covenant

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister
    The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Employment Participation

The Rudd Government today signed the Australian Employment Covenant.

The Prime Minister pledged Government support to the AEC earlier this year when the CEO of Fortescue Metals Group, Mr Andrew Forrest, announced the private sector initiative to create 50,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians.

At a ceremony in Sydney today, the Prime Minister joined Mr Forrest and other members of the AEC steering committee to officially launch the initiative.

Andrew Forrest and his steering committee are encouraging Australian employers to join with Australian Government and Indigenous Leaders in addressing Indigenous unemployment with real jobs.

The Rudd Government has committed to halving the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment within a decade.

The AEC initiative will forge corporate and philanthropic partnerships with Indigenous communities to deliver real outcomes towards reducing Indigenous disadvantage.

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, has been working with the AEC steering committee to develop a framework which will facilitate the Government?s support to the development and success of these partnerships.

Under the Covenant the Rudd Government will make resources available to:

  • coordinate and facilitate training to the appropriate job standards of the employing industry;
  • and facilitate post-placement and mentor support for eligible Indigenous Australians in guaranteed AEC jobs.

We will involve employment services in helping with the take up of AEC jobs by eligible Indigenous job seekers through referral, placement and support services.

At today’s launch, the Prime Minister also announced the Australian Government will provide $400,000 in immediate assistance to the AEC to establish a call-centre to take inquiries from interested employers and for a communications and marketing strategy.

This initiative has the potential to significantly broaden job opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

It builds on the great efforts of many Australian companies which have committed to Indigenous employment and challenges other Australian companies to commit to creating more opportunities for Indigenous Australians.