Jemena’s inaugural Indigenous Mentoring Program, Pipeline to Success, is moving towards its implementation phase, with initial research, training, and development continuing alongside an action-based research program.
Delivered in partnership with Saltbush Social Enterprises, the program aims to equip disadvantaged Indigenous job seekers in the Northern Territory with mentoring and leadership skills so they can support their own people into employment.
Through the program participants have been developing practical on-the-job skills to assist them to become skilled mentors, including skills in time management and communication. Participants are also developing skills in IT and have received training in first aid, problem solving, and independent thinking.
Jemena managing director Frank Tudor said Jemena and Saltbush Social Enterprises are both committed to helping Indigenous job seekers living in the Barkly region and the Northern Territory move towards a positive future with career aspirations.
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“Through best-in-class training programs, co-delivered with the Karen Sheldon Group as part of our Northern Gas Pipeline project, we were able to get to know and support over 75 local people from across the Barkly and Mount Isa regions,” Mr Tudor said.
“We understand how important programs like the Pipeline to Success are to the growth and prosperity of regional Australia, and our support reflects our long-term commitment to remain an active member of these incredible communities.
“We’re hopeful that as well as strengthening employment opportunities for people across the Barkly region, the program will help us identify a talent pool capable of working with us in the future.”
Mr Tudor said the Pipeline to Success program has a strong focus on the mentor’s personal development, with mindfulness practices and techniques to manage work stressors and difficult conversations also explored.
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Executive director of Saltbush Social Enterprises Karen Sheldon said, “Program pathways are intentionally designed to be gradual, strengths-based and supportive because we understand that building the confidence, skills and habits that allow people to transition towards a life of their own choosing through self-determination, employment and financial independence takes time, patience and persistence.
“Importantly, this process is also helping us learn about some of the practical problems our mentors face in developing their skills as mentors, such as gaining family support, earning the trust of community, and meeting the expectations of potential employers.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Jemena’s continued support to bring this program to life that will build on our many years of grass roots practical training to provide a structured training program that will work with Indigenous jobseekers from remote and regional communities to overcome some of the additional barriers they face to employment.”
Seven new Indigenous mentors and trainees have recently been appointed across the Northern Territory with learnings continuing to inform on-the-job training support and the development of a formal course or skillset for national accreditation.
Jemena is investing $200,000 in the Pipeline to Success program, building on its previous $4 million investment into training and development programs as part of the Northern Gas Pipeline’s construction.