Woolworths partners with Australian Government to get Indigenous locals into jobs

Fifteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people looking for work in Canberra have new jobs thanks to a Woolworths Indigenous Employment Program, Resourcing the Future, which connected with Australian Government jobactive and Transition to Work providers to great success.

The partnership has created important job opportunities, especially during the challenge of COVID-19.

Woolworths got a ready list of keen, work-ready candidates from jobactive and Transition to Work providers. The candidates were offered training to get them ready for their new jobs. The usual three-day face-to-face training was replaced by virtual training over zoom.

New team members had work experience rotations through different areas of the organisation and the support of store managers who regularly checked in with them on their shifts. They were also matched with a dedicated mentor for six months after they started their position, to speak to if they had any questions or concerns.

Lisa Hohoi from the Condor store, ACT completed the program and is now a department manager. She says the benefits of the program go beyond a job and don’t just benefit her.

“Being in a position and working for a big corporate company like Woolworths, it gives me the chance to empower more Indigenous people,” Lisa said.

Woolworths’ Resourcing the Future program, run in partnership with Diversity Dimensions, has welcomed more than 2270 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members in the past three years. The program has a retention rate of 71 per cent and aims to provide at least 900 more employment opportunities by 30 June 2021.

Gayna Soulintzis, manager Diversity Dimensions, said cultural training for store managers was a mandatory element of the program, to make sure the workplace was ready for the new candidates.

“We build a really strong relationship so that we’re all on the same page… the candidate has a great experience and a great opportunity, and the Woolworths team also enjoys the program and that the outcome for them is to get great team members,” Gayna said.

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