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Essential Energy boosts Indigenous jobs

One of NSW largest employers is today launching a new strategy to tackle Indigenous disadvantage by boosting job opportunities.

Essential Energy (formerly Country Energy) has developed the 2011 Indigenous Employment and Development Strategy in consultation with rural and regional communities.

The strategy will assist Essential Energy to further strengthen Indigenous representation across its workforce and achieve a 5.7 per cent employment participation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The new strategy is being launched in Wagga Wagga today at 11am.

Essential Energy Managing Director Terri Benson said the company was leading by example with 155 Indigenous employees based in centres across rural and regional NSW – above the COAG target of 2.6pc

“Our Indigenous employee workforce participation rate is close to 3.5pc, second only to the Office of Environment and Heritage within the Department of Premier and Cabinet,” Mr Benson said.

“We’re committed to achieving a workforce that is truly representative of the 1500 communities we serve.”

“Essential Energy is a microcosm of the wider community and can play an important role in helping overcome Indigenous disadvantage, particularly in the areas of education, socioeconomic status, health and employment.”

Mr Benson said the strategy was an important step in Essential Energy’s plan to reduce the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The strategy includes the establishment of an Indigenous Program Unit responsible for implementing its key objectives.

Essential Energy has more than tripled its Indigenous employee workforce representation since 2003 from 43 to 155.

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