ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander people make up 25% of employment on Rio Tinto Alcan's Weipa site, compared to just 3.5% in Gladstone.
Indigenous elders such as Neola Savage want to see those numbers increase in Gladstone, and a new indigenous group is helping make that a possibility.
"Opportunities are revealed to those who look for them," she said, "which is why we're giving students an opportunity to speak to employers."
Yallarm Advisory and Advocacy Group held its first careers expo with great success yesterday with hundreds of students from Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and schools out west attending the expo at CQUniversity.
Some of the town's biggest employers and educators were on hand with their experts to talk to students about opportunities.
YAAG chairman Jarrod Beezley said it was important to help close the gap in indigenous employment in the region.
"It's about providing better opportunities for the community and school leavers," he said.
"We're partnering with other organisations and industries to ensure we're not setting up students to fail.
"We want to make sure we're working with the schools, careers advisors etc, and building great partnerships in the transition from education to employment."
He said the speakers had been great and the students loved that.
"They've been hearing some stories about people in their efforts and jobs and what they've been through, which was really good to see."
After the Federal Government ceased funding of the annual Former Origin Greats Indigenous Careers Expo, Mr Beezley said it was important to have a local community organisation jump on board and co-ordinate the event.
"And we thank all the sponsors who got on board."