State funds support for job seekers in GROW target communities

Colac and Whittington job seekers will benefit from recently-announced state government funding of $1.375 million to deliver demand-led employment projects.

The funding under the State Government’s Jobs Victorian Employment Network will deliver “demand-led employment” projects, a key element of the GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work) initiative.

This is where specific workforce needs of employers are identified. This is followed by intensive work with job seekers to ensure they have appropriate skills and training to be effective employees.

GROW is a joint initiative of Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 – Geelong Region Alliance.

In Colac, GROW is partnering with local agencies to provide long term, sustainable job outcomes over the next four years. This involves collaboration between employers, local, state and federal governments, JobActive agencies, Social Ventures Australia, local community services and training organisations.

Give Where You Live Foundation CEO, Bill Mithen, said the funds would enable Colac job seekers to better access employment opportunities in the town, through tailored support and training designed to meet specific employer needs.

“The $620,000 to Colac will be the difference needed to ensure employers and job seekers are adequately supported over time, resulting in better job retention and ongoing benefits to the whole community,” Mr Mithen said.

In Whittington, the City of Greater Geelong received $755,000 to support the Whittington Works Alliance’s demand-led employment model.

Council’s Acting General Manager Community Life, Tim Hellsten said the Whittington Works employment project was a collaboration between the council, GROW and Bethany Community Support.

“This project is about building the capacity of the local workforce by providing jobseekers with industry-relevant skills. It’s a win-win situation, with employers connected to Whittington Works benefiting as much as jobseekers,” Mr Hellsten said.

Whittington Works Alliance members also include: Encompass Community Services, Gforce, G21 –Geelong Region Alliance, Learn Local, MatchWorks, St Laurence, The Gordon and Whittington Primary School.

Whitelion has also received much needed funding for their work with Geelong young people in out-of-home care, youth justice, and homelessness.