Growing Indigenous Construction Talent
Updated: Feb 5
As an Indigenous-owned and managed national contracting business, Indigenous engagement is not something we do it is who we are.
Our goal is to support our First Nations people by investing in and engaging with the local communities in which we operate. We do this by proactively searching for local Indigenous contractors to work with, consulting with Indigenous
organisations and Elders when it comes to engaging with Indigenous employees, and taking actions to break barriers that typically hinder employment for Indigenous members of our community.
Closing the Gap
In 2007, Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments made a commitment to work together to ‘Close the Gap' in Indigenous disadvantage. The aim was to reduce inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in areas such as life expectancy, child mortality, education and employment.
While some targets, particularly in the area of education, are still on track — such as ensuring that 95% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are enrolled in early childhood education by 2025 — other areas have not been so successful.
While the target of halving the gap in employment by 2018 was not achieved, BY Group is committed to helping meet this goal in the near future. By offering education, work experience and employment opportunities to Indigenous members of our community, we hope to help close the employment gap and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. Currently, 70% of our directors and staff are proud Indigenous Australians.
James Woods – Project Engineer
‘BY Group provided a ‘foot in the door’ of an industry I have wanted a career in for a long time. It has given me a clear pathway for a successful career in the construction and property industry. I attribute the establishment of my career to the generosity of BY Group in being able to provide me with this opportunity.’
James is a proud descendant of the Bundjalung & Yaegl Aboriginal Communities of Northern New South Wales. James commenced work at BY Group in 2018 as a Contract Administrator with no prior experience or qualifications in the construction industry.
Over the past two years, James has received extensive training and mentoring from Senior Project and Construction Managers, and has enjoyed his role so much that he’s now changed his degree to a Bachelor of Construction Management.
With the support of BY Group, James has excelled in his role and has now been promoted to Project Engineer, autonomously managing a diverse range of projects across NSW.
Empowering our Future Leaders
A key to achieving our goal of supporting our Indigenous community is in Growing Indigenous Construction Talent. Here at BY Group, we understand that the young people of today are our leaders of tomorrow, and it’s our responsibility to supply them with the education, tools and experience they need to thrive within their chosen profession, and lead their community towards a better future. That’s why we provide on-the-job training and work experience for our Cadets, who are all undertaking a Construction Management Degree, or Construction TAFE course.
As a participant of the BY Group graduate program, our Cadets become a part of a diverse team-based environment, with access to structured professional experiences that ensure that they develop and grow within the industry.
Joshua Stanley - Cadet Contract Administrator
‘My colleagues, from the start were always very welcoming and supportive. While working with BY Group I’ve found a passion for working in construction and I have also gained more interest in my University Degree.
BY Group has enabled me to have more confidence going into the industry and has also assisted me with my University studies.’
Joshua Stanley commenced work at BY Group in August 2019. Though he was undertaking a Degree in Construction Management, he had no prior work experience in the construction industry.
On the verge of giving up on his degree, Josh was given the opportunity to become a Cadet Contract Administrator at BY Group. Now, given generous pay, time and flexibility to continue his studies, and with a better understanding of the tasks, terminology and the industry as a whole, Josh is now enjoying University again.
Preparing Young Indigenous Australians for a Brighter Future
Every one of our Cadets is supplied with a personal development coach who can offer the support and guidance they need to pursue their careers in the construction industry. Mentored by our Senior Managers, we offer our Cadets the work-experience they need to prepare themselves for their future career, while making sure to provide enough time to focus on completing their studies.
During the holidays, Cadets are offered five days of work a week, and are paid wages which are well above the standard award. This gives Cadets the opportunity to experience life in the construction industry without having to hold down a second job to support themselves.
Cadets can participate in the program until they complete their studies, at which point they will be offered full-time roles with BY Group.
For Cadets who are currently participating in the program, training and working with BY Group is offering new opportunities to pave the way to a successful future, and empower others within the community to do the same.
Summer Dann - Cadet Contract Administrator
‘The best thing about my job is getting to learn from more experienced people within the industry.
Working for BY Group has had a very positive effect on my life. and my colleagues and Managers are extremely supportive and encourage me to do and be my best. Being a part of the BY Group family has allowed me to grow as an individual by setting an example for the younger generations.
My position within BY Group and future goal-setting has had a positive influence on my family and friends by helping them to also thrive and do better for themselves. As I continue to grow in my position I also hope to influence the greater community and create a pathway for many to come.’
Summer Dann is a proud descendant of the Yuin Nation along the South Eastern Seaboard through her mother. She is connected to the Wandandian tribes through to Tomakin, Murramarang Walbunja up to the Snowy Mountains Monero Ngarigo. Summer is also a Descendant of the Wajarri and Amangu through her father.
Summer commenced work at BY Group as a Cadet Contract Administrator in 2019 with no prior experience or qualifications in the construction industry.
Receiving extensive training and mentoring from Senior Project and Construction Managers from BY Group, Summer has since changed her Arts Degree to a Bachelor of Construction Management and is receiving the support and flexibility she needs to complete her studies.
She will also be receiving personal development one-on-one training with a professional business coach in order to help her thrive within the construction industry.
Committed to Community
By engaging with local Indigenous contractors, businesses and supply chains in the areas in which we work, and providing the training needed to empower Indigenous students to start their careers in the construction industry, BY Group is steadily working towards ‘Closing the Gap’.
Offering mentorship, support and fully-compensated, on-the-job training, the ‘Growing Indigenous Construction Talent’ program aims to help young Indigenous students prepare themselves for a successful future in the construction industry.
We hope that, by our actions, we can help support our community, and better the lives of our Indigenous brothers and sisters for generations to come.
BY Group acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land that we live and work on, and we acknowledge and respect the continuous connection to land, water and community.
We pay our respects to our elders, past, present and to those of the future.