Media Release – $1m to fund local employment initiatives

The Wide Bay Burnett is one of 10 regions across the country to partake in the $18.4 million Regional Employment Trials which help fund local organisations to design solutions to local employment challenges.

The Federal Government has committing more than $1 million to fund specialised programs to be delivered by local organisations and assisted by a new Regional Employment Facilitator and Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett (RDA WBB) committees.

RDA WBB chair Bill Trevor congratulated the Federal Government on empowering local organisations to develop unique solutions to local employment barriers or opportunities as part of the two-year trial.

“The Wide Bay Burnett and Townsville are the only two regions in Queensland to be included in these trials which start in under a fortnight,” Cr Trevor said.

“The program provides local stakeholders, including businesses, not-for-profits and local government agencies, with grants to trial local approaches to delivering employment-related projects.

“In a region that battles historic unemployment issues, we need to ensure we are working together to allow jobseekers the best opportunity of obtaining sustainable employment. We know that employment is key in strengthening economies and communities so this funding is very welcome.

As part of the trial, a new Employment Facilitator will be appointed to the Wide Bay Burnett region and will work with industry, job service providers and the RDA Wide Bay Burnett committee to develop local employment projects.

Examples of projects that could be funded include:

  • Using experienced or retired residents and local business leaders in a mentoring program
  • Preparing jobseekers for an up-coming infrastructure project that require specific skills
  • Work experience programs that provide local employment opportunities.
  • Work to address skills mismatch by partnering with employers and local industry
  • Hosting of employment related events, such as forums, workshops and conferences.

The minimum grant amount per project is $7,500 while the maximum grant is $200,000. The grant will be up to 75 per cent of eligible project costs. Applicants must have at least one Jobactive, ParentsNext or Transition to Work employment services provider partnering the project. The program open on October 2, 2018 and all projects/initiatives must be completed before 30 June 2020.

Cr Trevor said the success of the trial program would rely on proactive input from the local community, job
service providers and all three levels of governments.

“This is an initiative which utilises skills already on the ground, and by investing in local employment programs
we are strengthening the local economy to the benefit of all members.”

For further information and guidelines on the Regional Employment Trial project visit
https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-employment-trials

For further comment please contact Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett chair Cr Bill
Trevor on 0428 988 116 or Director of Regional Development Scott Rowe on 0428 881 697.