Gippsland businesses and jobseekers will benefit from a new program that creates jobs by encouraging businesses to use local products and services.
GROW (Growing Regional Opportunities for Work) 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.
Latrobe Valley Authority will establish the GROW initiative in Gippsland.