Finding more ways for Brimbank residents to be employed locally is behind a new program designed by Brimbank council.
At last week’s council meeting, the council unveiled its Local Jobs for Local People program, with the aim of helping more people into jobs in the local area.
The program includes a five-year action plan and recommended key performance indicators
Lucid Economics, which prepared a report for the council, found that 68 per cent of Brimbank residents leave the area to work.
The program aims to provide jobs for local residents, including new jobs being filled by a higher proportion of local residents.
While the council acknowledged that it can’t control these outcomes, it will look at actions to support finding local jobs for residents.
The jobs push includes strengthening employment networks, supporting education and training networks, enhancing the public realm and supporting the promotion of local procurement.
The council spoke with businesses in designing the program, with many saying they prefer to employ local people.
They along with other stakeholders said the council had a role to play in employment.
Brimbank is an area of significant disadvantage with the unemployment rate higher than the state and Melbourne average, which has only got worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal government labour market data showed that Brimbank has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, with a jobless rate of 10.9 per cent as of March.
Many suburbs had a much higher rate.
Councillor Virginia Tachos said that there were currently more people in Brimbank than there were jobs available.
“There is a drive to employ more local people, which our council supports wholeheartedly with this initiative,” she said.
“Our community needs to leverage off the tremendous knowledge of our diverse skilled CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] community who bring a tremendous knowledge and skills base from around the world.
“It is our diversity that makes it great.”
Councillor Victoria Borg said there was a disconnect between demand and supply and the council needed to help close that gap, while Councillors Jasmine Nyugen and Sarah Branton said the council needed to play a role in helping find jobs locally.
Councillors also voted in favour of a plan for the council’s procurement policy to include a provision which supports the use of local business in providing services and supplies to council.