Embargoed Bca Media Release: Big Business Shows Leadership In Closing The Gap

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22nd October 2010, 01:24pm - Views: 835
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New research by the Business Council of Australia confirms the leadership role its
members are playing in finding new ways to help close the gap on Indigenous

BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said the report, Common Ground, Uncommon
Results: Closing the Gap, shows that member companies are increasingly active in
developing creative strategies to increase Indigenous engagement in the Australian

"The BCA established an annual survey last year to identify, promote and share
lessons from what our members were doing to help close unacceptable gaps," said
Ms Lahey. "This year, 46 of our member companies responded, a 30 per cent
increase on last year.

"When you consider the size and reach of these businesses, their commitment on
this issue and what can be learned through their efforts is significant."

Ms Lahey said the survey report is designed to:

raise awareness about what business can do to improve opportunities and
outcomes for Indigenous Australians
share information about what works, what doesn't and why
encourage more businesses to develop their own business case for getting
involved, and
promote collaboration and partnerships.

The report is based on an analysis of information collected through an online survey
prepared and conducted by KPMG in conjunction with the BCA.

"While the results indicate a clear focus on lifting Indigenous employment
opportunities, member companies are involved in an increasingly diverse range of

"The importance of collaboration with Indigenous partners is a consistent theme in
what members see as a key to lasting success."

The new report reflects progress since the first survey last year, including:

40 companies now have Indigenous engagement initiatives, compared with
28 last year
29 companies have Indigenous employment and/or traineeship strategies,
compared with 21 last year
21 companies have specific Indigenous employment goals or targets,
compared with 14 last year, and
14 companies have completed Reconciliation Action Plans, compared with
9 last year.

Business Council of Australia
ABN 75 008 483 216

"One of the main challenges highlighted in the report is the need to better connect
Indigenous Australians to employment opportunities," said Ms Lahey. "There are
valuable lessons here for policy makers in lifting the quality of education and training
outcomes, and improving the matching of employer needs with the skills/aspirations
of potential candidates.

"The survey results show there is clearly scope for more companies to be involved,
and the progress being made by those who are involved is often slow and

"But the strong common ground between business, the community and all sides of
politics in our determination to close the gap is cause for real optimism, we believe.
We are inspired by the case studies contained in the new survey and members are
deeply committed to maintaining their leadership role.

The full report, Common Ground, Uncommon Results: Closing the Gap, can be read
or downloaded from the following link:

For further information contact:
Claire Tedeschi, Manager, Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664, mobile 0457 822 642


The BCA works to achieve economic, social and environmental goals that will benefit Australians now
and into the future. We research, communicate and advocate how Australia can build on its many
advantages by reinforcing what we do well, recognising and improving where we don't do well, and
ensuring all Australians are able to contribute to and enjoy our nation's prosperity. Members of the BCA
are the chief executives of 100 of Australia's largest and most economically significant companies who
collectively employ more than one million people. Our aspiration is for Australia to become the best
place in the world in which to live, learn, work and do business.


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