Indigenous employment in the minerals industry can potentially have wide-ranging outcomes for Aboriginal people. However, to date there has been little research conducted into the nature and scale of these outcomes. Efforts to improve Aboriginal employment levels within the industry need to be coupled with a concurrent research and monitoring program to help inform policies and practice in the area. This should be done within a culturally appropriate research framework and by employing a regional perspective where appropriate. Strategies to incorporate Aboriginal people in this process can include: the use of Aboriginal perspectives to set research agendas; the involvement of Indigenous researchers; and the application of Indigenous concepts to develop appropriate methods to monitor outcomes. The Australian mining industry is a significant employment contributor in mining regions and is often located near Aboriginal communities or land with Aboriginal interests. The mining industry therefore is ideally placed to develop an inclusive approach to evaluating the outcomes of Indigenous employment initiatives and, in doing so, can provide a model for other industries. To provide context to this review, the paper first provides a brief description of past Aboriginal participation in the mining workforce and identifies several drivers to improve Indigenous employment outcomes. This is followed by an outline and discussion of some of the Indigenous employment impacts that have been identified in the literature. This paper concludes by proposing a framework to guide further Indigenous employment research.
Barker, T. (2006). Employment outcomes for Aboriginal people: An exploration of experiences and challenges in the Australian minerals industry. Brisbane: CSRM.