Detailed guidance for opportunities for Victorian priority jobseekers

Find model approaches and further information in relation to opportunities for Victorian priority jobseekers.


Opportunities for Victorian Priority Jobseekers is one of the 7 social procurement objectives in the Social Procurement Framework. The objective replaces the former Opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians.

This objective recognises the benefits that come from employment. This includes the opportunity to contribute to the economy. A major benefit for priority jobseekers is a sense of self-worth and independence.

The Framework identifies two outcomes for this objective: 

  • buying from relevant Victorian social enterprises 
  • job readiness and employment for Victorian priority jobseekers by Victorian Government suppliers

The Department of Government services have developed Social Procurement model clauses. These are for use in an Invitations to Supply and Contracts with suppliers. Use the social procurement model clauses to convey and capture social procurement commitments.

Key definitions

The key definitions for this objective are: 

Victorian priority jobseeker means a person residing in Victoria, who is eligible to work and is either:

  • long-term unemployed or at risk of long-term unemployment
  • a young person

A person eligible to work means one of the following:

  • Australian citizen
  • permanent resident or temporary resident under Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program who hold a visa with work entitlements
  • other groups consistent with the current guidelines for Jobs Victoria Employment Services

Long-term unemployed means the following:

  • unemployed for six months or more

At risk of long-term unemployment means all of the following:

  • currently unemployed, or working less than 12 hours per week in casual, temporary, or intermittent work
  • at risk of long-term unemployment due to employment barriers

Young Person means all of the following:

  • aged 15 to 24
  • unemployed or working less than 12 hours in casual, temporary, or intermittent work
  • not in full time study

Employment barriers refers to the following barriers to employment:

  • not completing secondary education
  • low English language proficiency
  • low literacy (reading/writing)
  • personal circumstances (e.g. experience of family violence, drug and alcohol dependence, carer’s responsibilities)   
  • health difficulties (including mental health or disability)
  • criminal record
  • unstable housing or homelessness

The Department of Government Services has issued this list and it is subject to updates.

Job readiness means: training, mentoring, social and cultural support. It equips individuals with the technical and learning skills and attributes needed to successfully gain, maintain and participate in work. Job readiness activities need to provide a pathway to employment. 

Any jobseeker that meets the above definition can be considered a Victorian priority jobseeker. 

Jobseekers may be eligible to be counted under multiple objectives. Examples include:

  • being an Aboriginal Victorian and a Victorian priority jobseeker
  • being a Victorian with disability and a Victorian priority jobseeker

Jobseekers must not be double counted. However, suppliers may count these individuals toward any appropriate targets.

Buying from Victorian Social Enterprises 

There are two ways to deliver this outcome: 

  • Direct approach: buying directly from a relevant Victorian Social Enterprise
  • Indirect approach: requiring suppliers to include relevant Victorian Social Enterprises in their supply chain. For example, they may do this through subcontracting.

See, Find social benefit supplier for a social enterprise definition. 

Use  Social Traders Social Enterprise Finder to locate Victorian certified social enterprises. This ensures engaged social enterprises meet the frameworks' requirements. 

For this objective, social enterprises engaged should be led by a social purpose aligned with job readiness and employment for Victorian priority jobseekers. The Social Enterprise Finder provides a summary of information about each social enterprise, including whether it supports Victorian priority jobseekers (see the ‘Beneficiaries’ heading). See, Find social benefit suppliers for more information.

Job readiness and employment for Victorian priority jobseekers by Victorian Government suppliers

There are two components to delivering this outcome:

  • require suppliers to commit to targets for employment and/or training outcomes for priority jobseekers 
  • ask suppliers how they will identify Victorian priority jobseekers and support them to achieve and maintain employment and training outcomes

The verification of a Victorian priority Jobseekers is an administrative obligation. Each government buyer needs to manage this with their suppliers. Suppliers must maintain evidence that Victorian priority jobseekers meet the Framework definition in case of audit.

Approach to applying: procurement threshold

The following approaches are based on the procurement thresholds identified in the Framework. The procurement values are exclusive of GST. 

Procurements less than $1 million (regional) or $3 million (metro or State-wide)

  • buy from certified Victorian social enterprises (direct)
  • buy from mainstream suppliers with Victorian social enterprises in their supply chain (indirect)
  • consider suppliers that emphasise employment or training opportunities for Victorian priority jobseekers

Procurements between $1 million and $20 million 
Regional: $1 million or more, Metropolitan Melbourne or State-wide: $3 million or more

  • consider whether part of the procurement can be unbundled for delivery from Social Enterprises
  • consider mainstream suppliers that have Social Enterprises in their supply chain
  • consider setting targets for supplier expenditure with Victorian Social Enterprises. Ask them how they will meet such targets
  • consider suppliers that emphasise employment or training opportunities for Victorian priority jobseekers

Procurements at $20 million or more

Opportunities to maximise outcomes

The Victorian government has a number of initiatives that support inclusive employment. 

Buyers should reference these initiatives in Invitation to Supply documentation, where appropriate. Doing this can:

  • help bidders make connections
  • lay the groundwork for greater outcomes for Victorian priority jobseekers.

Jobs Victoria

Jobs Victoria provides targeted support to people who face challenges finding employment. Jobs Victoria free services are focussed on the locations most in need. 

Jobs Victoria services for employers include recruitment support to find and hire staff. Jobs Victoria Partners can assist with recruitment planning. They also have connections to ready, local candidates. 

Jobs Victoria services operate in the following local government areas:

  • Hume City (located in the Northern Metropolitan region)
  • Brimbank City (located in the Western Metropolitan region)
  • Greater Dandenong City (located in the Southern Metropolitan region)
  • Greater Shepparton City (located in the Goulburn region)
  • Latrobe City (located in the Gippsland region)

Growing Regional Opportunities for Work

There are five Growing Regional Opportunities for Work (GROW) networks operating in Victoria:

GROW networks bring together businesses, community organisations, and government. These networks are dedicated to delivering local economic development. They have a particular focus on inclusive employment.

GROW networks work with buyers, suppliers and employers. For government buyers, they can help maximise local and social procurement opportunities. Buyers engaging in procurements in  these regions should consider contacting their local network.

Social Housing Employment Program

The Social Housing Employment Program in partnership with Jobs Victoria, Uniting Vic/Tas and Quality. The program supports 200 social housing residents and other priority job seekers into employment. It focuses on the social housing sector. Work includes social housing tenancy and management, maintenance, cleaning, security services. 

The Program only applies to procurement that:

  • is based in metropolitan Melbourne or the Gippsland region
  • relates to social housing sector. 

If a procurement relates to social housing, consider including information on the program. One of the specified barriers to employment is ‘unstable housing or homelessness’. Program participants may therefore be eligible for support as a Victorian priority jobseeker.