Opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians
As Victoria recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more important than ever that the people who need it most are supported to share in the economic and social opportunities that Victoria has to offer.
Creating employment is at the centre of this effort – because good, stable jobs that pay a fair wage provide not only income, but dignity, resilience and connection.
The Victorian Government's Social Procurement Framework is supporting social enterprises right across the state to provide Victorians experiencing disadvantage with real employment opportunities.
Through the power of government spending, this work is creating a fairer Victoria, one where all Victorians regardless of their personal circumstances have a chance to find their niche and to flourish.
From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the Victorian Government spent:
- $10.4 million with 64 certified social enterprises
- of this, $7.2 million was spent with 18 certified social enterprises with a mission for people experiencing disadvantage
- $45,000 with Victorian social enterprises through state purchase contracts*
- $87.3 million with 176 social enterprises identified by the Map for Impact project**:
- of these, $40.9 million was spent with 57 organisations identified by the Map for Impact project as self-identified social enterprises***
- of this, $13.7 million was spent with 15 social enterprises identified by Map for Impact with a mission for people experiencing disadvantage
* Due to system and reporting limitations, not all spend across all State Purchase Contracts categories may be included in this total.
** The Map for Impact identifies and maps Victoria’s social enterprises and explores their social characteristics. It may include spend with social enterprises that do not meet the current definition of Victorian social enterprises in the Framework.
*** This figure includes spend with organisations on the Map for Impact that self-identify as social enterprises. It may include spend with Social Enterprises that do not meet the current definition of Victorian social enterprises in the Framework. Organisations that failed to self-identify as social enterprises, but may meet the current definition of Victorian social enterprises in the Framework are not represented in this data.)
Beyond direct engagement with Victorian Social Enterprises, Victorian Government entities sought social procurement commitments through its supply chain to support Victorians experiencing disadvantage.
From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the following Social Procurement Framework commitments were included within 119 contracts with suppliers reported to the Victorian Management Centre, of which:
- 17 contained commitments for the engagement of Victorian suppliers who employ Victorians experiencing disadvantage
- 30 contained commitments for the employment of Victorians experiencing disadvantage (contributing to 15 employment opportunities)
- 23 contained commitments for expenditure with Victorian Social Enterprises
- 15 contained commitments for the engagement of Victorian Social Enterprises
- 9 contained commitments for the provision of job readiness hours
Note: As the Victorian Management Centre was fully implemented in April 2021, some contracts are still in delivery, and will not have outcomes to report on for this period. The achievements detailed may include achievements recorded against specific commitments as well as achievements outside of commitments.
With the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic during 2019–2020, growth in engagement with the Victorian social enterprise sector by the Victorian Government was also hampered:
- with a decrease of 26 per cent in expenditure with social enterprises (Note: This figure may include spend with Social Enterprises that do not meet the current definition of Victorian social enterprises in the Framework.)
- with a decrease of 19 per cent in the number of social enterprises engaged.
Compared to the inaugural reporting year 2018-19 (pre coronavirus pandemic), there has been a nine per cent decrease in business engagements and a 42 per cent increase in expenditure.
Social , Australia’s leading organisation working to embed social enterprises into business and government supply chains, experienced strong demand for certification in 2020-21, with 445 enterprises certified at 30 June 2021, an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year. Victorian social enterprises accounted for 27 per cent of the growth, increasing from 204 certified enterprises to 224 at 30 June 2021.
Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework remains as a key driving force in ensuring that Social Enterprises continue to be a strong and growing sector within the economy. Social Traders continue to see significant growth in the number of enterprises being certified and seeking business development support. Coupled with the growth in both government and business procurement contracts being awarded, Certified Social Enterprises are generating significant positive social impacts throughout Victoria. Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework is world leading, and as part of the Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy 2021-25, will continue to influence other state governments to include social enterprise in their procurement policies.
Case Study: Streat's thyme Out program at Parkville
STREAT is a social enterprise that operates a portfolio of hospitality businesses with the goal of giving marginalised young people aged 16–24 years the skills and support they need to gain employment.
For the past decade, STREAT has provided more than 600 young people with pathways from homelessness, detox, mental health institutions, refugee centres and the juvenile justice system into the food service industry.
Young people who work with STREAT receive six months of training, where they gain more than 500 hours of accredited skills, on-the-job training, life skills and personal support, and six months of paid work that includes support to transition to employment.
The Thyme Out program is a partnership with the Department of Justice and Community Safety to help young people move from youth justice centres into STREAT’s programs.
The program helps young people from the Malmsbury and Parkville Youth Justice Centres transition to the community and into employment or further study.
In Thyme Out, young people are given 27 three-hour shifts at the STREAT Parkville café in a six-week program, working alongside fully qualified baristas, chefs and hospitality staff.
An evaluation of the program showed that trainees attended 85 per cent of the shifts available, with 100 per cent of those who completed the program going on to another STREAT program or other training and employment opportunities.
In addition, 100 per cent of trainees thought the program should continue, and were grateful for it.
STREAT has undoubtedly strengthened and grown its impact on account of the state government’s Social Procurement Framework. In fact, we’ve had over 90 government departments and agencies become customers over the last three years. It makes good business sense for the state government to procure from us. When a young person in crisis arrives at STREAT they are usually accessing more than $50,000 of government-funded services each year, with our intervention drastically reducing these costs by more than $32,000 each year. With 100 per cent of the profits from the meals sold to our government customers funding change for young people, government are buying far more than food – they’re actually co-investing in long-term system change that saves them money. This is a framework that makes cents!
Case Study: Sweet Justice
Sweet Justice is an emerging social enterprise that provides vocational training in commercial beekeeping to young people aged 17–24 within Victoria’s youth justice system for the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
The enterprise was established in 2020 by Claire Moore, an award-winning beekeeper and farmer from Kyneton, in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. Claire’s work in the beekeeping industry earned her the '2019 Victorian AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year Award', and she is one of the state’s leading beekeeping educators.
Claire founded Sweet Justice after hearing about a US-based social enterprise called Sweet Beginnings that teaches beekeeping to people in the prison system, decreasing recidivism rates from 68 per cent to four per cent.
The program includes training on bee biosecurity and an introduction to Plant Health Australia's online 'Biosecurity for Beekeepers' certificate course (a two-year industry qualification).
Since its inception Sweet Justice has developed from pathway training to workplace-based employment. Sweet Justice currently has 16 employees and volunteers, addressing the skills shortage in the beekeeping industry and providing social outcomes for young people experiencing disadvantage.
It has also hired its first post-release employee, which has provided a meaningful and significant boost for the young person and demonstrates there is a visible post-release employment pathway for other young people doing the pre-release program.
Sweet Justice also operates out of Bendigo, which means it provides a way for young people from the area to remain in regional Victoria, close to their communities and support networks.
The innovative social enterprise is also helping to address the environmental crisis affecting our pollinating insects, with Australia’s food producers becoming increasingly reliant on beekeepers to provide bees to pollinate flowering crops.
Cleaning services at HealthShare Victoria's new Derrmit distribution centre
HealthShare (HSV) provides supply chain, procurement and corporate services for Victoria’s public health services.
At its new Derrimut Distribution Centre, it has recently partnered with Clean Force Property Services, a flagship social enterprise of WISE Employment, to provide cleaning, hygiene and waste services.
Clean Force employs people who are living with a range of barriers to work, with up to half of its 300 employees regarded as experiencing disadvantage.
Clean Force has a proven track record, with more than 20 years in business in Melbourne. We help health services comply with Social Procurement Framework requirements, and we’ve taken the opportunity in our first internal procurement activity as HSV to not only establish a strong commercial agreement, but to lead by example with a positive social outcome.
Clean Force is one of Australia’s oldest and most successful social enterprises.
Jim Dinuccio, who leads WISE Employment’s national social enterprise functions, says Clean Force is very pleased to be partnering with HealthShare Victoria.
‘This is our first major direct engagement with a Victorian Government agency working within the state’s Social Procurement Framework,’ says Jim.
‘Clean Force prides itself on delivering quality cleaning services and material social impact in the form of employment for Victorians experiencing disadvantage, and we commend HSV for working with us to service this important site,’ he says.
Daniel Gonie is one of the Clean Force team members working at the distribution centre.
‘I went through training and then started getting experience. You go to work, and if you’re having trouble they help you through and connect you to more training,’ says Daniel.
‘They really care about their workers,’ he says.
The agreement commenced on 1 June 2021 and the Clean Force team has now successfully transitioned to full duties at the 22,500 square-metre centre, which is central to HSV’s expanded medical consumables supply chain operations.
Reviewed 05 October 2022