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Collaboration to create employment pathways

2 December 2015

Gamilaraay woman Gail Morgan felt before she joined the Warrigal Program, a hospitality apprenticeship co-created last year by Westpac and catering partner Compass Group.

A year into the program, with her newfound confidence and industry qualifications, Gail works full time at Westpac Place in Sydney. The best part for Gail is she can now share her success with her family.

"I love taking my nephews out to the cinema or for an ice cream on the weekends. They know I can do that now because I have a great job. And they want to have a great job too, just like their aunty," Gail said.

"For anyone out there who's shy like I was, I'd say just give it a go. I did, and life is so much better now."

The Warrigal Program is one of the innovative ways Westpac is initiating long term career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in line with the aspirational commitments set in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Collaboration on employment

In addition to direct recruitment and retention, we also worked with our corporate and community partners to create additional employment pathways through training and other programs.

In August 2014, we established a pilot of the innovative Warrigal Apprenticeship program in collaboration with our conference and catering partner, Compass Group. This saw six young Indigenous Australians graduate with accreditation into full time hospitality roles based at Westpac Place in Sydney. Due to the success of the pilot, a second intake of apprentices is planned, with participants to gain their practical experience in Westpac's new workspace at Sydney's Barangaroo.
In addition, Westpac Foundation has awarded financial grants to seven social enterprises delivering innovative employment programs for Indigenous Australians, while non-profit loans provided through Westpac's microfinance partner Many Rivers have backed the creation or expansion of more than 100 entrepreneurial Indigenous businesses.

These partnerships have provided the necessary backing to support at least 1,239 employment pathways for Indigenous Australians.

We continue to explore other collaborative partnerships to create employment pathways and will refine the way we capture and report these efforts to help direct our resources towards the most effective activities. ?