DHS reaches 5 per cent Indigenous workforce target

The Department of Human Services has reached an Indigenous workforce milestone target of 5 per cent.

More than 1,720 of the largest government department’s 33,500 employees now identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, with 148 new Indigenous apprentices joining the department last week.

The department is a leader among government and private sector organisations when it comes to Indigenous employment.

The highly effective Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme, mentoring and support network, cultural awareness and competency programs and the Reconciliation Action Plan have all helped the department reach the significant milestone.

The department’s whole of government Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme, now in its third year, has helped create Indigenous employment opportunities right across the public service. This year up to 280 apprentices will be employed across 13 agencies.

The department also exceeded its target for using Indigenous businesses. In 2016–17, 424 contracts worth $11.7 million were awarded to Indigenous businesses—significantly exceeding its Reconciliation Action Plan target of $3.7 million.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen welcomed the new Indigenous apprentices and congratulated the department on reaching the significant milestone.

“The department touches the lives of nearly all Australians, so it’s important our staff reflect the people and communities they serve,” Mr Jongen said.

“We will continue to work towards making a real difference in the lives of the department’s Indigenous staff and delivering services to Indigenous people and communities.”

For more information about the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme visit humanservices.gov.au/iap