Program to help the disadvantaged find jobs to GROW in Ballarat

Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford wil today launch the GROW initiative in Ballarat.
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford wil today launch the GROW initiative in Ballarat.

A PROGRAM aimed at finding work for disadvantaged jobs seekers in Ballarat will be launched today.

The state government is chipping in $750,000 for the Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) initiative which will be launched by Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford.

GROW was piloted in Geelong in 2015 and now has more than 80 local businesses involved. It has created around 80 job pathways. 

It works by encouraging businesses to use local products and services and aims to bring business, government, community organisations and individuals together to address disadvantage in areas of high unemployment.

The success of the Geelong program has led to the creation of the program in Ballarat, which is one of a group that will be announced alongside Latrobe Valley, Bendigo and Shepparton.

GROW Ballarat will be run through Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network (Highlands LLEN) which will develop and deliver the program with input from businesses who have already expressed interest in the program.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said GROW will be designed to encourage businesses and agencies to develop an appetite for collaboration within the Ballarat business community.

“Ballarat GROW will boost employment through a partnership of organisations and businesses that buy and use local, so more people can find a job.” 

Highlands LLEN acting executive officer Asha Buckmaster said the organisation was keen to embrace what was a proven model but also work to adapt it to the region’s needs.

“We’re quite excited to be part of a program that is all about partnerships and collaboration,” she said.