GenerationOne: Working it out

Australia is wasting its talent. Throughout the country, but particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, competent and capable Australians who could take an active role in wealth creation and be economically productive are excluded by circumstances, history, or barriers that can potentially be overcome.

In particular, Indigenous Australians* are over-represented in this group – they are three times more likely to be unemployed than other Australians and are more likely to be long-term unemployed**.

Taking actions to get long-term unemployed – including Indigenous Australians – into the workforce makes business sense for organisations that are struggling to fill vacancies with good people. Within this pool of potential recruits are people who, given the right training and support, can excel in employment. This report looks at six case studies of successful programs that have attracted long-term unemployed Indigenous Australians back into the workforce. It is intended to be detailed, grounded in practical reality and to personalise the experiences of the individuals involved so that others can learn from their experience.


“Sitting at the heart of participation in the economy is paid employment. Long-term Indigenous unemployment is at an unacceptably high level [17%1] and all the evidence points to the collateral social damage this causes. Understanding the paths to sustained employment is fundamental. Our hope is that the insights from these case studies will shed light on what it takes for those pathways to be created and encourage the kind of partnerships and engagement forward-thinking employers can take that will help them access a talented and loyal workforce and create needed social change.”

Michael Traill, CEO Social Ventures Australia

SVA Consulting was engaged by GenerationOne to document existing examples of employers who were supporting the transition of Indigenous Australians from long-term unemployment into sustainable and meaningful employment.

Working it out: Case studies of success in transitioning long-term unemployed Indigenous Australians into sustainable employment, give unprecedented insight into ways employers can break the cycle of Indigenous unemployment, and at a granular level, how this is working. Organisations featured in the report include Burswood, Crown, Woolworths, ISS Australia, Skill 360 Australia and Karen Sheldon Training.

Download the publication Working it out: Case studies of success in transitioning long-term unemployed Indigenous Australians into sustainable employment (PDF, 6.59 MB)


* Note that throughout this report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are referred to as ‘Indigenous Australians’
** ABS (2006)
*** Approximately 17 % of very long-term unemployed job seekers are Indigenous people. Source: ‘Investing to Close the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians’ Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs