Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced his expansion of the three per cent quota for Indigenous government employees.
On February 14, the PM announced that from 1st of July 2020 onwards, not only do all government sectors require at least 3 per cent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) employees, but all major government contractors must also adhere to this quota of ATSI hires.
Although the PM did not specify what defines a major government contract, it is still a push in the right direction for ATSI representation in the professional sector.
The reality is, targets in place don’t correlate to results.
With the percentage target rising from 2.6 per cent by 2015 to 3.0 per cent by 2018; many industries within the public sector haven’t even reached the 2.5 per cent quota, let alone 3 per cent.
As of June 30 2018, the Attorney General’s Department employs a total of 1446 people, only 20 of whom are Indigenous, this makes up only 1.4 per cent of representation.
CEO of the for-Indigenous creative group Pluto, Peter Kirk said: “It’s wonderful to see the Australian government making all industries accountable for Indigenous representation.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how agency land responds to this.
“I look forward to seeing more graduates from AWARD school and recruitment pathways put in place”.
With Indigenous procurement policy government contracts already valued at almost $1.8 billion, it’s a lucrative market.
Morrison said these new additional inclusivity policies will help the government attain their employment goals within their waning ‘Close the Gap’ campaign by 2028.
The APSC government website reports that so far, only 17 agencies had achieved their individual Indigenous representation targets of 2.5 per cent or higher.
And, as of 30 June 2017, 43 Commonwealth agencies had no employees that identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Eighteen of these agencies had less than 50 employees; 11 had 50 or more employees but less than 100, and 14 agencies had 100 or more employees.
With the government failing to comply with its own targets, the marketing industry may wonder how it will encourage or enforce indigenous representation from contractors.
These new regulations will further challenge an industry not known for its diverse workforce, as reported in PwC’s 15th annual Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook, which found that a lack of diversity in Australia’s media and entertainment workforce, is dragging the industry’s growth.
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