The Victorian Coalition Government's $4.6 million commitment to improving opportunities for public housing tenants will see a new Work and Learning Centre being set up in Ballarat.
Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell, together with Member for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay, announced that the Coalition Government was partnering with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to deliver the Centre.
The Centre will involve a partnership between Ballarat East Community House and the Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network, and will operate from the Phoenix P-12 Community College, as part of the Ballarat South Community Hub.
"It's exciting to announce that one of the five Work and Learning Centres we committed to will be delivered in Ballarat," Ms Lovell said.
"The Work and Learning Centre concept is about helping people in areas with high concentrations of public housing and disadvantage.
"We know that people who don't have a job can be excluded, not only economically but also socially, leaving them trapped in a cycle of disadvantage and isolation," Ms Lovell said.
Mr Ramsay said the Work and Learning Centre would be a great asset to the Ballarat community.
"One of the key platforms of the Coalition Government is to provide opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians to connect with education, training, and work opportunities,' Mr Ramsay said.
"This Work and Learning Centre will help many people in Ballarat take the steps to change their life circumstances for the better."
The Ballarat Work and Learning Centre joins those recently opened in Carlton and Geelong, while a fourth facility has been announced for Moe.
In the first six months of operation, the Carlton Centre has developed support plans for 51 clients, and placed 29 people into employment and training, while at the Geelong Centre, 174 clients have support plans and 117 have been supported into employment and training.
The Ballarat Centre will provide a friendly space where residents of the surrounding public housing estates can receive advice and support to access employment and training.
Tenants will have access to Work and Learning Advisers, computers, and a range of training programs and employment opportunities where they can develop individual plans to identify barriers to employment and the means of overcoming them.
Manager of the Ballarat East Community House, Michelle Whyte said the new Centre would provide a much needed resource for the Ballarat community.
"The partnership between the Community House and the Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network means greater access to career guidance, job service training, vocational training and pre-employment and pre-vocational training for residents of South West Ballarat," Ms Whyte said.
"Providing access to work and learning opportunities for local people is one of the most important services our organisation can provide."