Employment & Training Updates
Outback Stores finished the financial year 2021 with 87% of team members employed in community stores identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI). This equates to 283 people in remote communities engaged in real jobs. Identifying and supporting aspiring leaders by building career pathways to management through Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a core objective of the company.
We continue to lead our industry in providing a relevant, interactive and culturally appropriate learning experience for our team. Recently Alma Ngalmi was promoted as the first Indigenous retail trainer at Outback Stores with fantastic results. Alma was formally recognised as a finalist in the 2021 NT Training Awards – ATSI Student of the Year.
We are working towards more Indigenous people being able to train and mentor others living in remote communities. To that end, Dotty Repu from Maningrida has gained accreditation as a qualified retail trainer and is also now working in this capacity.
We continue to work with partner organisations such as Charles Darwin University by placing graduates into work placements and permanent employment opportunities in our Darwin Support Office.
A trial of school-based retail traineeships will take place in 2022 across Ngukurr, Santa Teresa, and Ali Curung communities. This will see a select number of students complete a Certificate I in Retail as part of their high school education with the goal of transitioning into employment post-graduation.
Recently 24 trainees completed a nationally accredited retail qualification. Nine of these qualifications were Certificate IV in Retail Management, the highest level that Outback Stores offers as a recognised training organisation. All nine trainees had previously completed either a Certificate II, III, or both. This highlights a positive trend of engaged and committed staff in remote communities creating a career pathway through on-the job learning and VET.
To assist with the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government is providing wage subsidies for 12 months to all employers who engage a new Australian apprentice or trainee between 5 October 2020 and 31 March 2022. This initiative has been well received and encouraged strong participation from store and support office staff.
Story first published in the Outback Stores 2021 Annual Report.