The Andrews Labor Government is backing jobseekers in Gippsland with a new program that creates jobs by encouraging businesses to use local products and services.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced $750,000 for the Latrobe Valley Authority to establish the Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) initiative in Gippsland.
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.
There are 19 program participants signed up to date, with more expected to sign up soon.
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.
The Gippsland GROW initiative is already in development, and local businesses and agencies will have the opportunity to get involved in the coming months.
Working together with participating organisations, the Gippsland GROW Program aims to improve social and economic development by:
- supporting regional business participation in supply chains
- facilitating procurement of major projects and services to focus on local supplier participation
- embedding social procurement policies so contracts issued in the region include training and employment outcomes for target communities.
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.”
“Gippsland GROW will boost employment through a partnership of organisations and businesses that buy and use local, so more people can find a job.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This is a wonderful initiative and great news for Gippsland. GROW will benefit local businesses, the supply chain and job seekers across our region.”