Forty-two Indigenous trainees from across Australia graduated with a Certificate II or III from the National Indigenous Training Academy at Ayers Rock Resort on November 22.
The year-long accredited training program is coupled with enterprise based training ensuring they have the qualifications, skills and experience to succeed in the workplace.
The graduates will take up employment at one of three Voyages properties or they have the option of seeking employment in positions across the wider tourism industry.
Each graduate wore a tabard on top of their gown that was hand painted by women of the local Mutitjulu community and that are signed and returned to the Academy to be handed to future graduates, a meaningful tradition that was commenced in 2013.
“A total of 115 trainees have graduated from the program since commencement in 2011, an achievement of which we are extremely proud,” said Voyages CEO Andrew Williams.
“Core to our vision is excellence in Indigenous tourism, training and development, and this graduation is another milestone in the achievement of that goal,” he said.
The trainees are from all areas of Australia – both regional and city locations. There is also a wide age range – from 18 to 38 years. Some of the graduates had worked before and for some this represents their first entry into paid employment.
Among the graduates are three students from local Anangu communities who took part in the Resort’s work experience program prior to commencing their traineeship. Sherelle Young and Kamurin Young from Amata and Mark Campbell from Mimili commenced their traineeships after completing a work experience program while in Year 12.
Voyages currently has 254 Indigenous employees which equates to 32 per cent of the workforce, well on the way to reach the goal of a 50% Indigenous workforce by 2018.
“I would like to congratulate all of the graduates on their achievement and wish them the very best of luck in their future careers,” Williams said.
Funding support for the Ayers Rock Resort Indigenous training and employment program is provided by the Australian Government.