23 May 2017

Social Inclusion Corporate Partnerships bring corporate diversity ambitions to life

New funding from the Victorian Government, announced at an event at NAB today, will open doors for migrants and improve community connection, says Jesuit Social Services.

The Hon Wade Noonan MP, Minister for Industry and Employment and the Hon Robin Scott, Minister for Multicultural Affairs announced funding for new Social Inclusion Corporate Partnerships at an event to celebrate the 300th participant of the African Australian Inclusion Program (AAIP), run in partnership between NAB and Jesuit Social Services.

“We are thrilled that the Victorian Government has committed this funding to ensure members of African Australian communities, who often face barriers to corporate employment in Australia, will have a chance to contribute their skills to some the country’s largest employers,” said Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.

Jesuit Social Services and NAB established the AAIP in 2009 to provide paid work placements at NAB for qualified African Australians who struggle to find employment due to a lack of local work history. Seventy five per cent of participants who complete the six-month placement find ongoing work either at NAB or elsewhere in their chosen field.

Commenting on the role of the program within the bank NAB Head of Finance, Bank and Wealth Transformation and long-time AAIP volunteer Joanne Cushing said “The African Australian Inclusion Program (AAIP) brings NAB’s values to life. It’s ‘win win’. It creates valuable professional opportunities for participants and helps us better understand our communities and in doing so make banking better for customers.”

Ms Edwards said places in the program were extremely competitive, and that there was demonstrated demand for the model to be expanded to other employers.

“The program has changed hundreds of lives by providing a foot in the door for people who have the qualifications and skills to succeed, but may not have local work history which was detrimental to their hopes in an ever-competitive job market,” said Ms Edwards.

“Thanks to the Victorian Government’s commitment today, we look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with NAB and will seek new relationships with employers to establish programs based on the AAIP model.”

The 300th participant in the AAIP is Atway Akec. Originally from Sudan and now based in Melbourne, Mr Akec said “The AAIP opens a door which until now has been closed to me. I intend to make full use of the opportunities offered by it to fulfil my dream of becoming a financial advisor and give back by building financial literacy within the community.”

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