Chairman Scott Hutchinson said Hutchies’ new Indigenous program, Statim-Yaga (start work), had produced excellent results in six months. Thirty Indigenous men and women, including 16 apprentices, have been employed by Hutchies, its subcontractors and its suppliers since November when Statim-Yaga began. Statim-Yaga is derived from Torres Strait Islander Creole and the Jagera language group, respectively. Statim translates “to start or begin” and Yaga translates “to work”. The new Statim-Yaga team members will be mentored through all stages of their employment. They are supported by Hutchies’ apprentice development co-ordinator, Peter Forsingdal, the Indigenous program co-ordinator, Mark Kucks, and the newly appointed Indigenous mentor co-ordinator, Joel Anderson, whose role is to provide culturally appropriate mentoring for Indigenous team members with Hutchies and its subbies and suppliers.

Scott said Hutchies had responded to an invitation from the Federal Government to some of Australia’s largest corporations to join in an initiative known as the Employment Parity Initiative (EPI). Under the EPI, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has set a target of 20,000 more Indigenous Australians in private sector jobs by 2020. Scott said Hutchies’ target was to train and place 350 Indigenous jobseekers into construction related employment over the next three years. “Statim-Yaga has been given a high priority at Hutchies and managing director, Greg Quinn (COTY 2007), has been liaising with the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, to get our project up and running,” said Scott. “Greg is also seeking the goodwill of our large subcontractor and supplier base to join us in the initiative.” Scott said large Hutchies’ projects around Australia – particularly those in and near Indigenous populations – would provide employment opportunities. He said that, if Statim-Yaga could achieve its EPI goals by 2020, Indigenous team members would make up more than four percent of Hutchies’ workforce.

To find out more, visit our Statim-Yaga website.