Commonwealth Bank has today announced it will significantly raise the number of Indigenous Australians it employs, with a stated aim of achieving Indigenous employment parity within 10 years.
The Bank aims to have Indigenous employees make up at least three per cent of its entire Australian workforce by December 2026, bringing it in line with the proportion of Indigenous Australians in the wider national population. Indigenous employees currently comprise around 0.4 per cent of the Bank’s 41,400-strong Australian workforce1.
As part of today’s announcement, Commonwealth Bank and the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council have also unveiled a formal partnership designed to provide local Aboriginal youth with an opportunity to build a long-term career. In late March (2016), seven of the Commonwealth Bank’s branches in and around Darkinjung Country, on the NSW Central Coast, welcomed an Aboriginal school-based trainee into their teams. Four full-time trainees have also been placed into roles at local branches.
Commonwealth Bank Chief Information Officer, David Whiteing, said the Group was committed to providing the right foundations to help Indigenous youth build a rewarding and prosperous future.
“We want all young Australians to have the opportunity to enjoy long and successful careers,” Mr Whiteing said.
“Working with community organisations like the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council allows us to invest in Indigenous youth, and help them to develop the skills that will be critical for Australia’s future workforce,” Mr Whiteing said.
The CEO of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, Sean Gordon, is confident the program will be a success.
“We have plenty of ambitious, capable young kids up here who are always looking for opportunities to enhance their skill-sets,” Mr Gordon said.
“This program will provide our local Aboriginal youth with a first-class learning experience in a local environment and I know the staff at the Commonwealth Bank branches will be as impressed with the trainees as the trainees are with them.”
Current Commonwealth Bank CareerTrackers Indigenous Intern, Bianca Hunt, knows the value of a school-based traineeship.
“I commenced my school-based traineeship with Commonwealth Bank back in 2011 when I was 15,” Ms Hunt said.
“When I started university in Brisbane, I continued working with the Bank as an intern. I now fly down to Sydney every summer break and intern in the head office for 12 weeks.
“I have gained some really valuable experience during my time with the Bank. The training and exposure to important projects has helped me develop both professionally and personally.”
Kyle Leong was the Commonwealth Bank’s first CareerTrackers Indigenous Intern to be offered a place on the Group’s Graduate Program. He has since gone on to become a permanent member of the Indigenous Careers team.
“I want to use my knowledge and experiences to give back to the Indigenous community. Thankfully, I can do exactly that in my current role here at Commonwealth Bank,” Mr Leong said.
“It’s great to be able to help other young Indigenous people find roles that not only allow them to achieve their goals, but also provide them with opportunities to give back to their communities too.”
Today’s Indigenous employment parity announcement is the latest stage in Commonwealth Bank’s Indigenous Career Program, which was first formally launched in 2002. Key developments in the program include:
- The launch of a school-based traineeship program for Indigenous teens in 2002 (more than 400 trainees have progressed through the program in the years since).
- The establishment of partnerships with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) in 2008 and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) in 2010 to support their important work providing young Indigenous youth with the right foundations for a prosperous career.
- Becoming a CareerTrackers 10x10 partner in 2015, and making a commitment to provide at least 25 Indigenous university students with internship placements each year until at least 2025.
- Recruiting three further Indigenous university graduates into the Graduate Program earlier this year (2016).