Growing Jobs For Locals In Ballarat

The Andrews Labor Government is backing jobseekers in Ballarat with a new program that creates jobs by encouraging businesses to use local products and services.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford joined Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard to announce funding for Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network to deliver the Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) initiative in Ballarat.

GROW will bring business, government, community organisations and individuals together to address disadvantage in areas of high unemployment.

The initiative was established in Geelong in 2013 where it has now signed on more than 80 local businesses and organisations. It has created around 80 job pathways and led to a shift to local spending valued at $20.21 million.

All GROW partners commit to building a stronger local economy, and to offering opportunities to job seekers in places where there are high rates of joblessness.

The project deals with the known correlation between unemployment and disadvantage.

GROW Ballarat will be designed to encourage businesses and agencies to do things differently by building capability and an appetite for collaboration within the Ballarat business community.

Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network will develop and deliver the program with input from a number of businesses who have already expressed interest in the program.

The Labor Government is committed to place based solutions to unemployment, disadvantage and strengthening local economies.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“GROW will bring together community groups, business and governments to increase local investment, grow local jobs and address disadvantage.”

Ballarat GROW will boost employment through a partnership of organisations and businesses that buy and use local, so more people can find a job – and that’s great news for everyone.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“This is a wonderful initiative and great news for Ballarat. GROW will benefit local businesses, the supply chain and job seekers across our region.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard

“This is a great initiative with its focus on long-term unemployment and disadvantage – providing people with a pathway to a better future.”