Indigenous Employment Strategy

Since 1981, HVTC has helped hundreds of Indigenous people begin their careers as apprentices and trainees through securing training and employment opportunities across business and industry.

HVTC seeks to build on our diverse and cohesive work culture to promote a community that welcomes all its members and recognises the value that each member contributes. In pursuing these beliefs HVTC seeks to increase the employment, retention and advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our commitment to providing equal opportunities is represented by our Indigenous workforce currently accounting for over 9% of our total workforce, compared to the 2.5% national average.

HVTC have been granted an Anti-Discrimination Exemption, allowing us to advertise and recruit positions targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. This allows us to work with our host employers to provide identified apprenticeships and traineeships, and increase the number of skills training and employment opportunities available for Indigenous people in NSW.

If your business is looking to take on an apprentice or trainee, check out HVTC's Indigenous Employment Program incentive information, available for download below.

Download the Indigenous Employment Program incentive flyer here.


Apprentice & trainee construction projects

Maitland Hospital construction project
Indigenous traineeship program with Multiplex Constructions in Maitland NSW
Date: 2020-2021 

Brookfield Multiplex - funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
South East Regional Hospital construction in Bega NSW
Date: 2014-2015

Pacific Highway Upgrade
Coopernook to Herons Creek (C2HC) on the Mid Coast of NSW
Date: 2008-2009

Cowarra Dam Project
Traineeships in Conservation and Land Management
Date: 2006-2007

Bunya Aboriginal Land Council (Wauchope)
Date: 2005 – 2007

Kempsey Gaol Project
Date: 2002 – 2006

Bowraville Nguralla Housing Project
Date: 2000-2004

Muli Muli Community Building Project
Date: 1997 – 2001
Known as the Muli Muli Project at Woodenbong, apprentices were involved in building a health centre, community centre and crèche as well as eight houses for Aboriginal people.

Gumbayngirr Aboriginal Housing Skills Development Project (Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation CDEP) – Bowraville North Coast NSW
Date: 1997-2001

Case studies

Karri Williams, HVTC Indigenous Trainee of the Year

Northern Rivers dental assistant named Indigenous Trainee of the Year

Karri Williams took home the title of Indigenous Trainee of the Year at the 2018 HVTC Excellence Awards held in Newcastle on Friday 4 May. Karri spent 12 months completing a Certificate III in Dental Assisting traineeship employed by HVTC Northern Rivers and hosted by Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation. Read more

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Northern Rivers trainee honoured at awards ceremony

Despite only being half way through her Certificate III in Business Administration, 18 year old Brodie Quinn has already impressed her host employer and co-workers with her maturity and application to work tasks. Brodie was named the Indigenous Trainee of the Year for her work with host employer SAE Group at the 2017 HVTC Excellence Awards. Read more

Samantha DElboux

Samantha secures another accolade

Talented trainee Samantha D’Elboux has not only set herself on an exciting career path but is being recognised for her work, taking out several prestigious training awards. The Nowra local is hosted by Shoalhaven City Council’s Shoalhaven Water where she works as a Water/Wastewater Attendant whilst studying her Certificate III in Water Operations. In April 2016, 21 year old Samantha was presented with HVTC’s Indigenous Trainee of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding performance. Samantha went on to be named TAFE Illawarra’s Trainee of the Year and received a TAFE NSW Gili Encouragement Award in May. In July she was also named 2016 NAIDOC Young Female Achiever of the Year. Read more

Kaleb Binge and Terry crop

Kaleb balances footy and study

Budding NRL star Kaleb Binge understands the value of learning a trade and gaining skills for life. The Lismore local is enrolled in a Certificate III in Plumbing at Wollongbar TAFE and was encouraged to take up an apprenticeship by his family and rugby league advisors. “I love footy and it’s my dream to one day play in the NRL. I also liked the idea of the physical hard work of an apprenticeship as it would help me to keep fit for football.” Kaleb is employed by Group Training Organisation, HVTC Northern Rivers, and is hosted by Sidney and Richardson Plumbing in Ballina. Read more

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Tennaya makes the most of workplace training

Tennaya Maxton believes traineeships are a great way to get into the work force and kick start your chosen career. The Wollongong local completed a Certificate II in Business Administration during years 11 and 12 at school and has now gone on to secure a full-time traineeship with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD). “I chose to do a traineeship as this is my first year out of school after graduating in 2015. I thought it would be the best way to secure a position in my desired field of work and gain a qualification,” said Tennaya. Enrolled at the TAFE South Western Sydney Institute, the 18 year old considers being able to study and learn on the job a massive bonus. Read more


High achieving Indigenous trainee

It’s been an award winning run for former HVTC warehousing trainee Nathan Anderson, hosted by Centennial Coal’s Myuna Mine. Nathan was the 2015 HVTC Excellence Awards Indigenous Trainee of the Year, and a national finalist for the Indigenous Trainee of the Year at the 2014 National Group Training Awards held in Hobart after winning the state finals. The Central Coast trainee was also named Young Achiever of the Year in the 2014 Australian Mining Prospect Awards. He was one of 21 group training apprentices and trainees from around Australia invited to attend the 2014 Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders leadership program in Canberra.


HVTC Mid Coast sinks its teeth into Aboriginal traineeships

Mikaela Donovan and Kera Ritchie are the first trainees taking part in a new dental assistant traineeship program established by HVTC Mid Coast. They are hosted to Kempsey Hospital Dental Clinic who are utilising HVTC’s Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) to help achieve an increase in the percentage of qualified Indigenous health staff. The traineeship program is an important part of both the Three Valleys Health and Ageing Traineeship Program and HVTC’s IEP.


Staff trained to be competent in Aboriginal culture

HVTC Mid Coast staff have been honing their Aboriginal cultural competency skills, ensuring they work better with Aboriginal clientele and community to increase opportunities for and completion rates of Aboriginal apprentices and trainees. Staff will also be able to pass on this knowledge to host employers to help ensure they have culturally appropriate understanding and measures in their workplaces.


Kolinda kick-starting her career from part-time trainee to five days a week work

HVTC Northern Rivers Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) participant Kolinda Freeburn from Casino began with HVTC in February 2012 on a part-time traineeship in Certificate III Children’s Services. Kolinda has made an outstanding start to her two year placement with St Mary’s Community Pre-School, so much so they referred her to a neighboring childcare center. Kolinda obtained employment with this referral on her own merit on a casual basis.


HVTC Northern Rivers mature age apprentice wants to finish what he started

Mature aged apprentice Edward Williams was successful in securing employment with O’Donnell and Hanlon Pty Ltd based in the Tweed Heads region. Edward had previously undertaken his Cert III Carpentry Apprenticeship, but for personal reasons did not complete it. With the help of HVTC Northern Rivers and his host employer, Edward is well on his way to becoming a qualified apprentice. Edward Williams is also an accomplished Aboriginal artist.


Local Indigenous Coffs Coast women thirsty for success at the Salty Lizard

Trainees Alinta Towney and Marnie McKay have been employed by Salty Lizard Café under HVTC’s Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) on a part-time basis in Certificate II Hospitality. Alinta is also a participant of the Indigenous Youth Mobility Program (IYMP & DEEWR funded) and has benefited from the support offered. Both ladies have the added option of participating in HVTC North Coast’s in-house IEP Mentoring program.