Jobs Bank, it’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Behind the cute moniker is a big idea, and while time will tell just how effective it will be, this week the Victorian Premier launched the Victorian Jobs Partnership – including the Jobs Bank – aimed at protecting Victorian jobs and developing a dedicated jobs pipeline for the state’s most disadvantaged job seekers.
Bottom up growth is the game here, and the Jobs Bank is targeting Victoria’s biggest employers to open up jobs to people who have struggled to enter the employment market in a meaningful and sustained way. Organisations like Bombadier, AGL and Linfox have pledged roles in their organisation for those who typically find it hardest to get work, including single mums, family violence survivors, disengaged youth and people living with a disability.
Welfare, community and employment placement organisations are also on board, with the program providing tailored mentoring, training and development, as well as extra support for things like travel expenses, childcare and clothing.
The Premier wants to see 500 jobs ‘deposited’ in the jobs bank, and if it works and the jobs that are taken up do lead to real careers, it would be a serious win in a long and largely failed history of trying to make a dint in the cycle of disadvantage.
Daniel Andrews launched the Victorian Jobs Partnership in Melbourne, with a live link to a launch event in Geelong. Part of the process is a call for businesses, employers, jobs agencies, unions and anyone else with an interest, to make submissions around the barriers to entering the workforce and the brakes that are holding back jobs growth.
Some of the issues raised at the Geelong event included the lack of available and affordable public transport for apprentices and other low-paid workers, the lack of any kind of feasible scheme to up-skill existing workers - to make way for more entry-level roles and to meet the big challenges technology shifts are creating in businesses and organisations - and the need for a dedicated program of supported internships for people with language barriers or experience barriers to break into fields they are otherwise well suited to.
Want to have your say? Submissions are open here until 31 August.