Release type: Media Release


150 Indigenous Australians finding jobs through partnership with Downer EDI


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

The Australian Government has increased its funding for Downer EDI Limited by $700 000 to $1.5 million, to support jobs and training for up to 150 Indigenous job seekers through its Mining Division.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib said the Downer program had so far successfully trained and placed 70 Indigenous candidates into jobs across its national operations.

“The additional funding for Downer will increase the job and training places for Indigenous job seekers to 150,” Senator Arbib said.

“Downer is emerging as a corporate leader in Indigenous employment. By creating new job opportunities for Indigenous people around Australia, Downer is allowing Indigenous jobseekers to benefit from the growth in the mining sector.”

Senator Arbib said the Gillard Government was pleased to be in partnership with Downer and contribute to this joint investment in the future of Indigenous people and communities across Australia.

“This program further demonstrates how we are working closely with industry to overcome the skills shortage and address Indigenous disadvantage through training and employment,” Senator Arbib said.

“Indigenous job seekers receive industry specific, accredited qualifications preparing for work as mobile plant operators, crushing operators and other jobs in high demand. This is training that leads to sustainable long-term jobs.”

Senator Arbib said Treasury predicted 500 000 jobs would be created during the next two years and it was critical that Indigenous Australians had the support and training they needed to take up employment.

“Indigenous employment is not a short term issue. Over the next four years the Government has also committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program and $50 million to the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program,” Senator Arbib said.

“This is part of the Gillard Government’s target to create more than 100 000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”