As a Pilbara owned Indigenous business we appreciate the importance of employing Indigenous Australians throughout our operations, and respect the diversity of the Indigenous culture. We acknowledge that many Indigenous people experience conditions of social and economic disadvantage within Australia therefore developing and implementing the right employment strategy is required.
As a leading Indigenous contractor, we believe our strategy is far more mature and diverse than others, focusing on key aspects such as cultural awareness, life skills training, mentoring, community relations and Traditional Owner engagement. Without understanding the key concepts, PLWA would not have maintained the high level of Indigenous employment currently experienced within the business.
Employees at PLWA are required to participate in Cultural Awareness activities at each site. It is important for employees to have an understanding of how culture may inform values, behaviours, beliefs and basic assumptions. It assists in recognising that we are all shaped by our cultural background, which influences how we interpret the world around us, perceive ourselves and relate to other people.
PLWA has extensive experience in employing Indigenous people and have been successful in doing so through our tailored in-house mentoring program. The program is structured so that each site has a dedicated mentor or “mate” that can assist employees with challenges faced, whether at work or home. To ensure this program is sustainable, a Senior Indigenous Mentor has been allocated to this project. Key accountabilities include:
- Promoting the program;
- Ensuring mentors are trained and qualified;
- Ongoing support; and
- Reporting on progress and outcomes.
PLWA recognises the importance of stakeholder engagement, in this case local communities and Traditional Owners. Through partnerships both parties are able to focus on sustainable development and creation of long term opportunities, which has generated the positive economic benefit to both partners.
At every opportunity, PLWA seek to engage Traditional Owners to work collaboratively on projects of all sizes throughout the Pilbara region. The key benefits from such alliances are employment, training, mentoring, community development, decision making and land ownership.
PLWA Training WINS program was a concept established for all employees that focuses on training needs and personal development. Today, the well advanced program offers training modules such as basic life skills, Certificates, Diploma’s and more importantly in field training in a working environment.