Over the past six years, Ventia has given more than 50 Indigenous interns experience working across multiple contracts and corporate office sites in the organisation. These internships give students valuable understanding of working in a large and diverse organisation, but also the opportunity to decide what career path they want to take. 

Through an agreement with CareerTrackers, Ventia has committed to taking a number of interns per year over 10 years. Six years in, and the program is running well. 

Social Sustainability Manager - and coordinator of the CareerTrackers program - Loes Westerbeek-Veld says we saw this program as a way to bring young indigenous people into our business.  It was also hoped that we would transition them through to the graduate program and then into permanent employment and future leadership roles. 

"CareerTrackers was created back in 2009 with the goal of creating pathways and support systems for Indigenous young adults to attend and graduate from university - with high marks, industry experience and bright professional futures," Loes says.

"They have a great track record of students completing their university studies, and 95% of alumni are in full-time employment in their field within three months of graduation."

Diverse experiences across the business

Students participate in internships right throughout their four years of university study and are encouraged by CareerTrackers to try different roles and different business sectors. 

The advantage for students who choose to undertake their internship with Ventia is the breadth of our operations across multiple business sectors and geographic locations. This allows them to try multiple roles all within one company. Loes says: 

Interns can get experience in resources or local government, defence or utilities for example.

"And if they'd like to change locations, we can offer them opportunities in most large towns and cities across Australia and New Zealand, as well as some more remote areas." 

Interns spend up to 18 weeks with Ventia each year - a six-week winter internship and 12 weeks over the summer period - with the option to extend if it suits the business. 

Ina's journey

Ina Mills joined the CareerTrackers summer internship in 2017.  

As an undergraduate in HR, Ina's first role was with the Ventia Rigs & Wells team in Toowoomba, Queensland working in crew logistics.  

Loes says that Ina excelled in employee engagement. She oversaw rosters and ensured our camps remained manned and our staff training was kept up to date.  

"Ina became an integral part of our team," Loes says. "She was offered an ongoing casual role when the new university year commenced. Ina worked on some major projects including Indigenous employment and engagement."

As an illustration of the breadth of opportunity at Ventia, Ina relocated to Canberra with her family and we were able to find her a role in the Corporate Real Estate team on our Whole of Government contract. Ina says: 

Interning with Ventia was a great opportunity. 

"It was a positive experience that allowed me to develop and expand on skills necessary for a HR Graduate. The team were very welcoming and inclusive with my managers being very supportive of my learning experience ensuring I had exposure to various areas of the business." 

Ina Mills and Marco Waanders at an event pictured in front of a CareerSeekers banner
Ventia's Ina Mills at a CareerTrackers event

Developing opportunities

In order to find opportunities for each year's intake, Loes reaches out to Ventia's senior leadership team. Once opportunities are identified, the relevant business leader will work with the intern's student advisor at CareerTrackers to plan what they will do, where they will be working and other details for the year ahead. 

The supervising manager will also ensure time is allocated for the intern to receive weekly mentoring from the adviser. At the end of the 18-week program CareerTrackers provide one week's leadership training to each intern.

If you're interested in learning more about our involvement with CareerTrackers, contact our team.