Aboriginal employment takes the Spotlight

Employment dreams are becoming a reality thanks to a new initiative by Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers (WesCEF) via its two key WA based subsidiaries, CSBP and Kleenheat.

WesCEF has developed a Creating Opportunities Spotlight program, engaging major on-site contractors in how  to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island (ATSI) people.

Desmond Roche, WesCEF Procurement Specialist, said that the program was created after a review of the supply chain indicated that many of WesCEF’s suppliers understood the value of having ATSI employees, however were not aware of how to create employment opportunities for them.

“We delivered a series of dedicated forums to engage and collaborate with suppliers across WesCEF’s supply chain, with the aim to align suppliers with WesCEF’s values and commitment to ATSI development, increase supplier awareness of ATSI education and generate ATSI employment opportunities within WesCEF’s supply chain,” he said.

“WesCEF showcased best practice on how suppliers can create and promote employment opportunities for ATSI people, build relationships with the community and develop culturally respectful processes.

“The program developed also addressed concerns raised by suppliers including, how to start and manage the process, communicating the importance of the process to their organisation and tracking associated costs.”

WesCEF called the forum “The Creating Opportunities Spotlight Series” and it has been well received across the supply chain. In addition it has recently won the award for Excellence in Training and Professional Development at the Western Australian Transport, Supply Chain and Logistics Awards, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (WA) and the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (WA).

Noelene Mantellato, Aboriginal Development Consultant for WesCEF, said hosting these types of events enables WesCEF to contribute to creating sustainable employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in the communities in which WesCEF and its subsidiaries operate.

“The results from holding the sessions have exceeded my expectations. Since beginning the program our suppliers have hired more than 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  This number will continue to increase as our suppliers develop ATSI crews to support our businesses, especially during major maintenance shutdowns of our operating plants,” she said.

 “It’s a very simple concept and I would encourage other businesses to adopt a similar program for their contractors and suppliers."

Fact file

WesCEF is part of the Wesfarmers Limited, and operates chemical, energy and fertiliser businesses that service a range of sectors in both domestic and international markets.

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Media contact: Justin Manning 0429 543 148 or email jmanning@wescef.com.au