Simple solution for diversity and local workforce participation

MASTER BUILDER, September – October 2016:

The ROADS Foundation is aiming to help Master Builder members achieve representation of local workers within their businesses. The Foundation’s executive director Ashley Little explains.

There are many challenges associated with developing and growing your people and workforce. Development of skills, diversity, equality and active local participation and engagement, often all need to be balanced when making workforce investment decisions.

The ROADS Foundation is a not-for-profit WA charity specialising in helping make that investment work for you and your business. Our role is to make the process as simple as possible for employers to engage and retain new employees, trainees and apprentices.

The Foundation focuses on getting young people into employment and traineeships/apprenticeships in the resources. construction, infrastructure and agriculture sectors through a unique community engagement model. We have an emphasis on employment and training of young people, Aboriginal employees, local engagement and participation and other disadvantaged groups.

At our core, the methods for service delivery we enact are quite simplei sourcing the right people through community engagement, preparing candidates with tailored pre-employment training and supporting employers and employees throughout the employment journey. However, it’s the level of resources and time to make these areas work that are intensive and complex.

We have a strong commitment to local community engagement and are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between industry and community needs. Our initial community engagement process incorporates demographic and native title research, community consultation and engagement and relationship development in the local area.

We also firmly believe in adequate preparation of people entering the workforce, through the development of a tailored pre-employment training program delivered to the pool of candidates with as much employer participation as possible. This training can include accredited training specific to industry, soft skills and other activities to speed up the recruitment process,

Most importantly, we have a key focus on the retention of people in the workforce through comprehensive support strategies for the employee and the employer. Our training and support services coordinator delivers a number of programs within the support network including project team and broader organisation support, buddy program, workplace wellbeing for the employee (including mentoring) and an Aboriginal Employee Assistance Program (one-on-one coaching). This is the highest level of support offered within industry to achieve our vision of a sustainable workforce and see high levels of retention.

Our independence and charity-based model allows us to operate at a minimal cost to contractors and subcontractors. We are not a recruitment agency or training body, rather an organisation there to manage and facilitate the entire process and provide extensive support services to employers and employees. We make it simple and easy.

What we specialise in; how can we assist you?

  • Aboriginal employment – short/long term project, recruiting locally.
  • Local workforce engagement and participation.
  • Government Building Training Policy – trainees and apprentices.
  • Pre-contract community consultation.
  • Gender diversity focused employment.
  • Workforce planning and employment.
  • Employee retention and support.

We are excited to begin working with Master Builders and its members. We look forward to assisting with addressing the diversity and local participation and engagement needs of employers and businesses across the WA building industry.

We will be making contact with ail members and relevant regional offices in the coming weeks and months to introduce our services further. However, should you require further information or assistance, contact me directly on 9323 4310 or ashley,little@roadsfoundation.com.au.