Message from the Minister
The Hon Jaclyn Symes MP, Minister for Regional Development
Around a quarter of all Victorians call our regions home, and regional economies are the backbone of Victoria’s success. This is led in part by this state being the number one food exporter in Australia.
This Government is making sure that people and businesses from regional Victoria benefit when we invest in goods, services and infrastructure because we recognise that we need to share the benefits of economic growth and prosperity across the whole state.
The Social Procurement Framework encourages government departments and agencies to take a place-based approach to purchasing; one that is focused on small and medium businesses throughout the supply chain, based in areas that need support.
Case study: my maintenance crew
My Maintenance Crew is an initiative of Diversitat, a not-for-profit community organisation with a long history of caring for and supporting the disadvantaged and disengaged youth of the Geelong region.
The organisation won a competitive tender to provide maintenance services for 25 vacant VicRoads sites, covering more than 500 000 square metres alongside major regional roads between Geelong and Apollo Bay.
According to My Maintenance Crew Operations Manager, Brad Keating, the contract unlocked opportunities for both new and existing staff. ‘We provide employees with a range of accredited training to ensure they are given industry-specific skills.
We also focus on life skills such as independence and self-development, as much as the technical training,’ Brad said. ‘Our goal is to increase the chance of breaking the cycle of disadvantage for all employees and these skills are critical in that context,’ he said.
‘That’s why big contracts like this are massive for us and the community. The VicRoads opportunity was significant for a few reasons. It created new job opportunities, but it also validated our services in a legitimate commercial sense'
Operations Manager, My Maintenance Crew
- For the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019, Victorian Government departments and core agencies through direct procurement activities, spent over $63 MILLION with businesses in the most disadvantaged parts of Victoria.
- Figure 2: Spend within regions of entrenched disadvantage,12 1 January - 30 June 2019.
12 Disadvantaged areas are the postcodes ranked in the bottom state decile by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD), 2016.
Case study: the Workgroup
The Workgroup, a social enterprise based in northern and central Victoria and southern New South Wales, is funding programs to support local youth transition from secondary school to employment. Through their three entities, Worktrainers, GAME Traffic and Contracting, and Recruitment Select, The Workgroup provided services to several government departments and tier 1 suppliers in 2019.
'As a mature social enterprise in regional Victoria, GAME benefited greatly from the Social Procurement Framework, with existing and new customers seeking out information about our social dividend. As a result of social procurement and our social enterprise model, we are currently assisting 1 026 regional youth in our school-based employment program.’
CEO, The Workgroup
Reviewed 19 December 2019