Release type: Media Release

Date:

ETSA Utilities signs on as corporate leader for Indigenous employment

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor today officially welcomed ETSA Utilities as a Corporate Leader under the Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment Project.

Speaking at a ceremony held in Adelaide today, Mr O’Connor said more than 80 of Australia’s business leaders had participated in the program which aims to generate more jobs for indigenous Australians.

"Today’s event is timely given the steps the Rudd Government has made in introducing the ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony for the opening of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s historic Apology to Australia’s Indigenous people," Mr O’Connor said.

"During that historic occasion, the Prime Minister spoke of a partnership for the future and closing the gap in three key areas – life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities.

"I am delighted that ETSA Utilities has joined up as a partner with the Australian

Government to lead the way in developing practical responses to Indigenous

employment."

ETSA Utilities has set a target of employing 12 Indigenous apprentices and three

business trainees in 2009 and has already recruited seven Indigenous people as

apprentices or business trainees as well as some longer term Indigenous employees.

ETSA also recently appointed an Indigenous Project Officer to help the organisation achieve its targets and support its Indigenous employees.

Mr O’Connor said Indigenous Australians are a key component of the future workforce of Australia.

"Boosting employment participation is one of the five key measures the Rudd

Government has outlined to tackle the former Liberal Government’s inflation legacy," he said.

"There are compelling economic reasons to look at alternative labour pools and more flexible employment strategies.

"Providing better access to private sector jobs for Indigenous job seekers is important in

securing economic independence for Indigenous Australians."