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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Employment Parity Initiative


The Australian Government announced in the 2021-22 Budget a commitment to develop a new place-based Indigenous Skills and Employment Program to replace the Vocational Training and Employment Centres (VTEC), Tailored Assistance Employment Grants (TAEG) and Employment Parity Initiative (EPI) from 1 July 2022. For information please visit Indigenous Skills and Employment Program (ISEP).


The Employment Parity Initiative (EPI) aims to increase Indigenous employment in large companies to reflect the proportion of the Indigenous population nationally – approximately three per cent.

EPI providers are also required to increase purchasing from Indigenous enterprises to build the Indigenous business sector and generate more job opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

This initiative supports the Government’s commitment to real skills, real and sustainable employment, and real economic growth to ensure prosperity for all Indigenous Australians.

What are the benefits for Indigenous job seekers?

Benefits for Indigenous job seekers include:

  • sustainable employment in large companies with a national footprint
  • greater access to more diverse job prospects and opportunities
  • skills and qualifications
  • practical experience
  • improved life and wellbeing outcomes.

What are the benefits of being an EPI partner?

EPI partners become champions of change and industry leaders in Indigenous recruitment and employment. Benefits include:

  • diversity of workforce
  • role models for the next generation of Indigenous employees
  • more inclusive and enriched corporate culture 
  • greater socio-economic flow-on to Indigenous families and communities.

How can a company get involved?

The NIAA may extend an invitation to a company based on a number of considerations including its track record in Indigenous employment, its capacity to recruit and retain Indigenous job seekers, the relative level of disadvantage of the job seekers, the types of positions on offer, training and development opportunities available, and placement locations.

A company which expresses an interest may be asked to submit a proposal, but there is no guarantee it will be invited to participate.

Companies which have reached parity in Indigenous employment rates may be able to participate in an EPI career advancement stream.

How are EPI funding agreements negotiated?

EPI funding agreements are flexible and provide employers with funding certainty to implement practices that attract and retain Indigenous employees. Each EPI agreement is tailored to the individual company, with payments linked directly to employment outcomes. These might include career advancement outcomes.

Can an EPI provider apply for other funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy?

Yes, but participants or projects funded under the EPI cannot also be funded under other parts of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

An organisation cannot claim EPI outcome payments where it is receiving a payment from another Australian Government, state or territory government body for providing the same or similar services to participants.

How is the EPI going to achieve real jobs for Indigenous Australians?

Australia’s major employers have the goodwill and ability to employ a large number of Indigenous Australians. The EPI will build on this goodwill to achieve large-scale employment outcomes.

The EPI rewards real, long-term outcomes. EPI providers only receive an outcome fee when an eligible job seeker achieves a minimum term of employment with the organisation. This approach generates a strong incentive for EPI providers to meet contractual obligations.

Who are the EPI providers?

For more information, contact the EPI team at

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