Message from the Minister
The Hon Martin Pakula MP, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade
The Victorian Labor Government was elected to create a fairer Victoria – one where every Victorian has the chance to thrive. We believe that employment lies at the heart of this, and that’s why, through the Social Procurement Framework, we’re using the Victorian Government’s spending power to create jobs and opportunities right across our State, particularly for those Victorians who face barriers to finding work.
The Social Procurement Framework is a critical enabler for the growth of Victoria's social economy. It supports the development of Aboriginal business, social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises, and provides long term job seekers with access to more employment opportunities.
The Framework works together with a range of established programs and initiatives delivered by the Victorian Government. This includes Jobs Victoria, a suite of targeted support services for people looking for work. Since late 2016, Jobs Victoria has supported over 10 000 people into work whilst simultaneously supporting the workforce and recruitment needs of employers.
These initiatives have created a great synergy, with the Framework encouraging businesses to employ more people facing barriers to employment, and Jobs Victoria helping get these people ready for work.
When delivered to its full potential, Victoria's Social Procurement Framework will bolster our existing initiatives by ensuring employers seeking to secure government contracts contribute to creating a more inclusive, diverse and productive workforce. There are countless benefits of this social spending for Victoria's economy, but the biggest impact will be felt in the lives of those Victorians who will get the chance to work and build a better life for themselves and their families.
Case study: Given the chance recruits Victorians from diverse backgrounds
Given the Chance is a Brotherhood of St Laurence social enterprise that provides supported recruitment to allow employers to secure more diverse sources of labour. This helps disadvantaged jobseekers gain valuable experience, and it allows businesses to meet their corporate social responsibility, social procurement and workforce diversity objectives.
Data from both Given the Chance and Jobs Victoria Employment Network placements shows that more than 200 job placements since 2017 have been with employers seeking to meet their Victorian Government procurement obligations.
Candidates include refugees and asylum seekers, people with a disability, young people and mature-aged people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and long-term unemployed people.
Since the announcement of the Social Procurement Framework, Given the Chance has also established hire agreements with many large infrastructure employers including John Holland, Lendlease, CPB, Fulton Hogan, Western Lands, REA, Boral and McConnell Dowell.
To meet their social procurement targets, these employers have taken on refugees and asylum seekers, as well as other cohorts, across a range of skill areas, from apprentices in civil construction to entry-level asset maintenance, administrative roles and engineers.
In the six months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019 Victorian Government departments and core agencies spent:
- $7.3 MILLION with 70 certified social enterprises.
- Of this, $4.3 MILLION was spent with 32 certified social enterprises with a mission for priority disadvantaged people.
- $25.2 MILLION with 176 social enterprises identified by the Map for Impact project.6
- Of this, $3.6 MILLION was spent with 27 social enterprises identified by Map for Impact with a mission for priority disadvantaged people.
- For the full financial year 2018-19, the Government spent $3.44 MILLION with Victorian social enterprises through state purchase contracts.
- The major road and rail projects (delivered by Level Crossing Removal Project, Major Road Projects Victoria, North East Link Project, Rail Projects Victoria, West Gate Tunnel Project) spent $8.4 MILLION with social enterprises7 in 2018-19.
- Rail Projects Victoria recorded 15 204 employment hours for refugees. Rail Projects Victoria and North East Link Project recorded 36 413 hours for long-term unemployed and 6 432 hours for disengaged young people.
- For rail industry skills programs in 2018-19:
- 49 refugee/asylum seekers completed the GROW and TRANSIT programs and 24 completed the GEN44 program.
- 23 long-term unemployed completed the GROW and TRANSIT programs and five completed the GEN44 program.
- Social Traders, Australia’s leading organisation supporting social enterprises, experienced unprecedented demand for certification in 2018-19, with an increase of 37 per cent. Victorian social enterprises accounted for 71 per cent of the growth, increasing from 97 certified organisations to 166 by 30 June 2019.
Figure 1: Distribution of direct spend with social enterprises, Australian Disability Enterprises and Aboriginal organisations, 1 January to 30 June 2019.8
7 This figure may include spend with Social Enterprises that do not meet the current definition of Victorian social enterprises in the Framework.
8 Does not include SPF state purchase contract spend.
‘Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework is an impressive, world-class policy initiative that links the Government’s significant procurement to the State’s overarching inclusive economic growth priorities. Importantly, the policy is being backed up by dedicated resourcing to implementation, led by the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, across the Government’s 270+ departments and agencies.’
Managing Director, Social Traders
Case study: new opportunities in the rail sector
Rowan Lal and Zaid Yousuf have directly benefitted from programs designed to offer new opportunities in the rail sector.
Rowan Lal, a former automotive worker with 24 years’ experience, hoped his skills would stand him in good stead for the future.
However, when Australia’s car manufacturing industry went into decline, Rowan joined the TRANSIT program, which was established by Metro Trains Melbourne and the Level Crossing Removal Project to provide opportunities for workers affected by changes in the economy.
Rowan is now Governance Manager, Integration and Transformation with Metro Trains Melbourne.
‘I was looking for opportunities outside of the automotive industry and the TRANSIT program gave me the confidence that my skill set would be suitable and add value in the transport sectors,’ Rowan says.
For his part, Zaid Yousuf arrived from war-torn Iraq in December 2016, and was ultimately accepted into Australia as a refugee.
With a Bachelor of Commerce and Banking Science and a wealth of experience working at the Bank of Baghdad, Zaid was referred to the Level Crossing Removal Project by Career Seekers (a non-profit organisation) as part of the five-day GROW program.
Zaid’s skills from the financial sector in Iraq caught the attention of the Level Crossing Removal Project finance team, and he has worked there as a Project Accounting Officer since May.
‘The GEN8 internship program gave me the most important thing when I came to Australia – a doorway that opened to my first position working in an Australian workplace, and for that I feel so very lucky,’ Zaid said.
Reviewed 19 December 2019