indigenous training is a boost

Woolworths talks about the Diversity Dimensions Indigenous Employment Program.


"This job has opened up a whole range of opportunities."

12 August 2012
Article from Northern Rivers Echo

For Adrian King, a job at the new Goonellabah Woolies means no more looking for work, a chance to learn new skill and maybe even a new car.

The 30-year-old, who participated in the Woolworths Indigenous Pre-employment program, says he is glad to have left his job-seeking days behind him and is looking forward to working at the supermarket in “one big team”.

So too, 26-year-old Damian Broadrick said the pre-employment program provided the opportunity to learn about the company and meet new people.

“This job has opened up a whole range of opportunities. I think it isn’t so hard to get a job. But you have to believe in yourself,” he says.

Woolworths Goonellabah store manager Ben Gordon with replenished team members Adrian King of Goonellabah and Damien Broadrick of Goonellabah.

“The training gave me a much better understanding of the difference between indigenous culture and my own."

The program, run by local training partner Diversity Dimensions, was initiated to address the unique challenges faced by indigenous people that prevent some from having a stable, beneficial career. The rate of indigenous people leaving jobs is one of the highest and some lack the skills to attract employers.

The Woolworths Indigenous Pre-employment program is run with state and federal governments and local organisations. The aim is not only to provide unemployed indigenous people with back-to-work job skills – it also addresses participants’ own challenges to employment. The program provides candidates with mentors on an ongoing basis so they have an independent third party to discuss their progress and any issues they may have. There is also on-the-job training and many of the candidates who completed the course were offered a job at Woolworths Goonellabah.

In addition, Goonellabah store manager Ben Gordon was on of several senior managers who undertook cultural awareness training to give an insight into the program.

Ben said, “The training gave me a much better understanding of the difference between indigenous culture and my own. I can now see potential problems before they become too big and intervene early. I’ll be much more sensitive to cultural differences. Things like eye-contact and other cultural things like that.” the store manager said.

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