Supporting Inclusive Employment - a cross-industry initiative with Australian Red Cross
Australian Red Cross is a leading not-for-profit (NFP) focused on providing humanitarian aid to those in need.
There are many ways this aid is focused, including The Inclusive Employment project. This program seeks to assist a segment of society that is often overlooked: people with convictions and lived experience in the justice system.
The Inclusive Employment project asks a key question:
With much research and analysis done on people exiting the justice system – what supports are available for employers for taking on people with this kind of experience?
The answer, based on the team’s literature review, is very little.
In fact, the research uncovered that most organisations had very outdated policies and systems around criminal checks. Some of these policies were set decades ago.
Through digging, and interviews with organisations and people with lived experience, the Justice project team uncovered that employers were open to employing people with lived experience.
However, the challenge was they didn’t know how to manage this process and would need additional knowledge and support in order for everyone to be set up for success.
Whispir for Impact exists as a focus area for partnerships, collaborations, and connecting for a purpose. We try and leverage Whispir’s own capabilities, technology, and resources to help those that need help the most.
A team effort
In this collaboration with Australian Red Cross, Whispir played an advisory role alongside Origin Energy and Vicinity Centres.
We're in this together
The advisory group included specialists from University of Western Sydney and JobWatch, as well as experts with experience working with the justice system: Fruit2Work, WorkRestart, Streat, and APM Employment Services.
The team has been led by the Australian Red Cross, via a Project Lead, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recruitment and Retention Lead.
The work was a true cross-industry effort. Smaller working groups investigated the literature that already exists, as well as created tools for helping employers review their police check processes themselves.
A solution to talent shortages
The new research is compelling. It flips old ideas around police checks being a necessary step of the employment process, which has previously screened talented people out.
Employers can greatly benefit from adapting their approaches. The talent shortage being experienced around the world isn’t going away any time soon. But the Inclusive Employment Project research step-changes this challenge by introducing a novel and innovative solution.
Assistance with experience
Whispir’s own industry relationships have helped steer this process forward. We were able to connect the project to another key partner, enabling the research to be showcased at the 2022 Jobs Australia Conference – a leading NFP association for employment organisations serving communities in need.
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Creating a path to employment
Whispir is proud to be involved with this project and is looking forward to this key lever for social change being embraced by employers to help address their talent shortages.
Even more importantly – the work helps rehabilitate a community in need and often overlooked – and does it in a way that genuinely helps everyone.
To find out more about this project and learn more about adapting your organisation’s processes to recruit new talent, you can visit the Australian Red Cross Inclusive Employment web portal.