Crown Casino’s commitment to Indigenous employment was the factor that nailed a partnership with United Voice’s NSW branch.

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Secretary Mark Boyd told the Redfern launch of a Crown/National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) partnership that his Union had signed other MoU’s that delivered union access, collective agreements and core employee rights, but that the deal advanced by Crown boss, James Packer, had one significant difference.

“Of all the issues on the table, it was Crown’s commitment to training and good quality jobs for Indigenous Australians that was special for us,” he said.

“To be able to work with young Indigenous people, and to be involved in a program that prepares them for meaningful jobs, here in Sydney, is special.”

Mr Boyd committed his Union to working more closely with the NCIE, which has already trained more than 13,000 Indigenous youngsters.

He said if the partnerships, with Crown and NCIE, delivered real opportunities and jobs for Indigenous youth he would regard it as one of the most worthwhile things United Voice had achieved in his time with the Union.

United Voice has signed a MoU with the Packer empire that would make it a project partner if Crown wins the right to establish a luxury hotel, with gaming facilities, at Sydney’s Barangaroo development.

As part of its community engagement, Crown has also entered a formal partnership with NCIE that will deliver hospitality and management roles to its graduates.

The deal s were brokered, in part, by Crown corporate adviser and former federal minister, Mark Arbib, who is a long-standing supporter of the NCIE initiative.

Mr Arbib spoke about NCIE’s two-year history while the organisation’s co-chair, Sam Jeffries, and CEO Jason Glanville talked about the importance of partnerships with United Voice and Crown.

Mr Boyd confirmed his Union was talking about areas where it might strike other formal partnerships with the Redfern-based centre.

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