Indigenous students team up for careers with IHG

Not-for-profit employment organisation, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy has entered into a groundbreaking partnership with the Intercontinental Hotels Group

Not-for-profit employment organisation, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) has entered into a groundbreaking partnership with the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s largest hospitality organisations.

IHG’s commitment is to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders share in the economic benefits of the Australian Tourism Industry. The organisation plans to achieve this by providing education, training, employment and business opportunities to Indigenous high school kids across Australia in partnership with the AES.

The Holiday Inn Townsville, QLD is one of many IHG hotels participating in the student employment strategy program.

Initially, the AES will help IHG engage, mentor and train Indigenous school based trainees. The traineeship involves two years of on the job training while students are in year 11 and 12 studying for their HSC. At the end of year 12, SBT’s will not only graduate from high school, they will have also have earned a Certificate II in Hospitality and received industry-specific training that will set them up for long-term careers in the industry.

IHG endeavors to train at least two Indigenous students in all 31 properties across Australia in the next 3 years. IHG has already welcomed three AES trainees to their staff in WA, VIC and QLD. The hotel giant is working towards having two per cent of its total workforce made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by 2013, with the long-term vision that many will go on to join leadership teams and become mentors to other colleagues in the organisation.

IHG Australasia’s director of HR, Marcus Tait is delighted to be partnering with the AES, “The AES is a professional, like-minded organisation that provides IHG with the framework and structure to offer school based trainees opportunities to grow and succeed within our organisation. It was important to us that the AES can offer localised support from all of their offices across Australia.”

Crowne Plaza Perth general manager, Matt Young with trainee Teagan Climo.

“To develop the industry’s best and brightest, we need to work with a diverse and multicultural employee base. Every large organisation needs youth employment and school based training programs to provide a variety of entry-level employees who are young, keen and energetic. Partnering with the AES gives us access to a strong pipeline of Indigenous talent and also guarantees we have a support network for these trainees to ensure they are happy and productive.”

“The AES is proud to be partnering with the Intercontinental Hotels Group on this program and we look forward to supporting Indigenous students in their goals to forge successful careers in the hospitality industry,” said Danny Lester, AES CEO. “The groundbreaking ‘2011 AES Careers Report’ found that education and careers are of paramount importance to Indigenous youth in Australia, with 97% saying that education and training is a crucial stepping-stone to securing meaningful careers ”.

The AES has been a pioneer of school based traineeships for Indigenous students since it began delivering them in partnership with ANZ and Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 2002. It now works in partnership with Corporate Partners across Australia to deliver the traineeships; a model that has recently been rolled out nationally as part of the Indigenous Youth Career Pathway Program (IYCPP), launched by the former Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development earlier this year.

During the last five years the AES has been responsible for delivering over 5,500 skilled career seekers into long-term employment , increasing the current Indigenous Australian workforce by 5%, helping the Government to save over $458 million in funds that otherwise would have been spent on welfare benefits and created a network of more than 40 corporate partners, all committed to receiving trainees from the school based traineeships programs and working together to change the face of corporate Australia. 


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