A NEW trial program to help empower local communities to design and implement solutions to unemployment has started in the Peel region.
The Peel is one of 10 regions in Australia chosen by the Federal Government to take part in the trial.
Canning MHR Andrew Hastie said the Government’s $18.4 million Regional Employment Trials Program recognised that partnering with local communities in designing solutions that reflected their distinct needs, could lead to stronger engagement and more effective employment outcomes.
“The program brings together expertise to improve employment opportunities for people looking for work’’ he said.
Under the program, a $1 million Local Employment Initiative Fund will be available, with local stakeholders able to apply for individual grants of between $75,000 and $200,000 for employment-related projects such as mentoring programs and upskilling of local unemployed people to become more job ready.
“Work gives people dignity and purpose,’’ Mr Hastie said.
“Locals usually know better than bureaucracy what their community needs.
“This program is about better employing locals to be part of the solution in the fight against unemployment.”
Mr Hastie said he particularly wanted to encourage local business to partner with the community to invest in low skilled and untrained workers and in individuals who had not worked in a long time.
“In the Peel, unemployment dropped from 9.6 per cent to 6.2 per cent between December 2016 and December 2017,’’ he said.
“It’s a good start but there is more work to do.”