GROW Gippsland (Growing Regional Opportunities for Work) is a new collaborative program that seeks to strengthen social and economic outcomes and increase job opportunities through maximising local spend in the region.
The program is focussing on generating job opportunities for key target groups – including young people, transitioning workers, Aboriginal people and the long-term unemployed.
Initially, the program will work with up to 30 of our key local purchasers and suppliers to review their procurement, employment, and supply arrangements with the aim of increasing local spend.
GROW Gippsland will also work with upcoming infrastructure projects to ensure that local and social procurement and employment opportunities are maximised.
Latrobe Valley Authority is facilitating the program after feedback from Latrobe Valley businesses and the community in 2017 identified increasing local purchasing as a key driver of economic growth and jobs.
The program is being delivered by ArcBlue Consulting, experts in local and social procurement and employment, who have been working on a similar program with the Geelong community since 2013.
The Geelong G21 GROW program has seen participant organisations commit to moving 7% of their regional expenditure from non-local to local suppliers by 2020, with the aim of generating more than 2,500 jobs (including 500 for target communities) and in excess of $1 billion into the regional economy annually.
How are businesses involved?
Businesses involved in GROW commit to an assessment of their suppliers, procurement and employment practices and priority projects. This information is used to examine purchasing habits and look at ways to shift spending to local spend.
Ultimately, the business community will contribute to the creation of regularly updated dashboards that show progress on maximising local and social procurement. This process will also encourage businesses and agencies to do things differently by working together and building capability.
Initially, the program will work with up to 30 of our key local purchasers and suppliers to review their procurement, employment, and supply capability with the aim of strengthening organisational and regional local and social impact.
On a larger scale, it’s about maximizing the impact of the significant growth in our region to ensure the entire supply chain benefits.
The GROW program also seeks to ensure that local and social procurement and employment opportunities are maximised in the delivery of our large pipeline of upcoming infrastructure projects
The project will build on and link work already underway in this area, including with our Industry Capability Network representative.
GROW Gippsland Regional Action Plan
Following extensive research and consultation with local stakeholders, Latrobe Valley Authority and Regional Development Victoria have now formally committed support for the next two years as the program enters the implementation stage.
The attached GROW Gippsland Regional Action Plan focuses on working with you and other businesses and organisations across the region to:
- Further establish regional leadership and commitment;
- Inspire local action;
- Foster collaboration;
- Build procurement capability;
- Create inclusive employment opportunities;
- Build local supplier capability and simplify local supplier engagement;
- Develop social enterprises and Aboriginal businesses
- Measure the impact of the program.