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Planning a strong, inclusive workforce: Blue Care Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy

Last month, we marked the Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and reflected on the steps we can all take to learn, respect and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. One very tangible and significant action is to create workplaces that attract, support and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

When Blue Care identified workforce planning as a priority for 2015, Sue Boisen, the General Manager of the North Queensland and Indigenous Services Cluster, sought to develop a Workforce Strategy that would not only attract, but retain and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

They engaged the Workforce Council to undertake this targeted Workforce Planning, and the result was the Blue Care Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy, which was launched last month to great success.

Through this workforce strategy, Blue Care is committed to:

  • Ensuring leaders at all levels are engaged and committed to this strategy and vision to allow for appropriate resource allocations
  • Building cultural competence and understanding across the organisation
  • Attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
  • Creating, valuing and acknowledging relationships that strengthen and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Recognising and valuing the knowledge and skills of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, while also developing professional belonging
  • Monitoring the implementation and outcomes of this strategy through a collaborative review and evaluation process

The focus of the strategy in creating a workplace that welcomes, develops and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, rather than simply setting employment and training targets, makes this workforce strategy unique, comprehensive and meaningful.

Further strengthening Blue Care’s workforce strategy is that it was built around a strong vision. Some key features of this vision include:

  • Organisational leaders who are committed to Australia’s First Peoples and who steer the delivery of inclusive Blue Care services that acknowledge and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
  • A commitment from Blue Care’s North Queensland Cluster to sustainably and responsibly develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members into leadership roles into which they belong.
  • A commitment to create a workplace that supports and develops Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to add value and enhance the lives of those in their care.
  • In line with Blue Care’s person-centred care framework, Blue Care Tailor Made, they aim to deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in ways that respect their choices as well as their culture. In doing so, their workforce will be supported by approaches, systems and procedures that are simple, flexible and accountable in meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Stacy Field heads up Workforce Planning at the Workforce Council, and worked in partnership with Blue Care to develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy.

“Workforce Planning can take many forms and serve many purposes,” she said.

“Blue Care’s North Queensland cluster identified a need for a workforce plan that would reflect their vision for an inclusive and representative workforce.

“They engaged the Workforce Council to undertake Workforce Planning, and in doing so have made a bold statement about their priorities, and are on-track to deliver improved, culturally-appropriate services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.”

To find out more about the Workforce Council’s tailored workforce planning solutions, please click here to visit our Workforce Planning Page.