Business Council recognises Indigenous education initiatives are crucial for Indigenous employment and opportunities
Friday 30 January 2015
The 2014 Indigenous Engagement Survey Report highlights where companies and partner Indigenous organisations are developing innovative approaches to deliver effective, sustainable and holistic Indigenous engagement strategies.
The Report was recently published by the Business Council of Australia (BCA), which recognises that Australian businesses have a role to play in actively creating the social and economic conditions in which Indigenous Australians can prosper and thrive.
“We are optimistic about the prospects of a fairer, more inclusive future, proper recognition of the past, and the capacity of genuine partnerships to deliver meaningful and lasting change” - BCA member
The Aspiration Initiative (TAI), through the Aurora Project, is highlighted as one of the Report’s case studies of leading Indigenous education initiatives.
Indigenous education initiatives are key in delivering sustainable results
For the first time, the 2014 Survey ranked support for Indigenous education initiatives above employment as the top activity for BCA member companies.
The increased attention by BCA member companies on education reflects a widening of the Indigenous engagement lens from “employment” to “the employment delivery pipeline”. They are engaging a new range of partners in corporate initiatives, such as schools, universities and training institutions.
Since economic conditions and a lack of qualified candidates were nominated as factors in the slowdown of Indigenous employment growth, businesses highlighted that they increasingly need skilled graduates. This makes school retention, Year 12 completion and transition to further study or training vital to growing the number of Indigenous employees.
During 2014, BCA companies contributed around $72 million towards Indigenous education initiatives. Over 70% of companies focusing on Indigenous education have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), supporting organisations working in the areas of work experience and exposure, and support for secondary or tertiary education, including scholarships.
Download the full 2014 Indigenous Engagement Survey Report
Education Innovation Case Study: The Aspiration Initiative
The Report mentions The Aspiration Initiative (TAI) as one of the top Indigenous education initiatives, along with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF), Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), Career Trackers and the Clontarf Foundation.
TAI provides innovative educational programs, products and services that support Indigenous Australians to realise their potential. As well as academic excellence, TAI focuses on strengthening identity and resilience and creating groups of students who will support each other through school and further education.
“We believe that real change in Indigenous education requires, long term sustained commitment – there are no quick fixes” - TAI staff member
“Without TAI I wouldn’t have enjoyed school as much as I do. I was planning in year 7 to leave school as soon as I was old enough. But now I want to go to University” - TAI student
“I can envision him being the first grandchild to go to University. It’s a real possibility with the help he is currently receiving from this program” - TAI parent
Read more about The Aspiration Initiative