National Australia Bank (NAB) has welcomed Westpac’s decision to invest more heavily in Indigenous employment but has encouraged a focus on turning traineeships into real jobs and careers to achieve lasting change.
Glen Brennan, Head of Indigenous Finance and Development at NAB said: “Companies need to focus on converting traineeships into real jobs and careers.”
“Traineeships shouldn’t lead to a dead end. They need to ignite careers, not become an exit point for Indigenous Australians who are all trained, but have nowhere to go.”
“Corporate Australia has a big role to play in helping Indigenous employees move through the ranks and into management positions. We want our employee programs to be the training ground for the Indigenous leaders of tomorrow.”
In 2013, the number of Indigenous employees at NAB grew by 13 per cent to 161. Furthermore, 74 per cent more Indigenous trainees were offered real jobs at NAB following their traineeship. In the past three years NAB has employed 100 Indigenous Australians.
NAB is the only corporate in Australia to invest in evaluating the social and financial impact of its Indigenous employment programs. A recently released report showed that its school-based traineeships delivered a social and financial value of $2.71 for every dollar invested, while the full-time traineeship program delivered $3.14 for every dollar invested.
NAB has developed a program focused on developing the leadership capabilities of Indigenous employees. The program was introduced in November 2013 with 20 Indigenous employees across Australia participating to date.
In addition to its employment programs, NAB provided 6000 Indigenous Australians with support through its microfinance programs in 2013.
Over the past six years NAB has forged a reputation as Australia’s corporate leader in Indigenous reconciliation. It is the only company in Australia to have its annual Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) independently verified (by Ernst & Young).
In 2013, NAB’s RAP was the first to be awarded the ‘Elevate’ status by Reconciliation Australia. It’s 2014 RAP retained this status.
Find out more about NAB’s support of Indigenous Australia at nab.com.au/indigenous