A bold and ambitious long-term strategy for tackling disadvantage in the G21 region
The GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work) Strategic Plan was developed by a team of national experts, led by Dr Ingrid Burkett. This Plan was funded jointly by Regional Development Victoria, G21 – Geelong Region Alliance, Give Where You Live Foundation and the City of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway Shire, Surfcoast Shire, Golden Plains Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe.
It is based on significant international evidence that the best way to reduce areas of persistent disadvantage in a community is to reduce unemployment rates in those areas.
GROW will bring together philanthropic, business, government and community organisations across the G21 region with that single objective — creating job opportunities specifically benefiting the most disadvantaged in our community.
It’s a long-term strategy that will benefit and strengthen the social and economic fabric of the entire G21 region over coming years. The GROW philosophy is that a prosperous community cares for the well-being of all of its members.
The strategy has an initial 10-year outlook, with the ability to extend to future years.
Specifically GROW will:
- Work to ensure public and private sector organisations in the region understand the value of their procurement spend to increase local content and target social outcomes
- Develop a regional compact with procurers, developers, suppliers and investors to identify ways of maximising economic and social outcomes in targeted areas
- Establish a ‘social procurement network’ to maximise community benefits
- Link procurers and suppliers with employment and training brokers, thereby supporting jobseekers from targeted areas
- Link jobs and jobseekers through ‘demand-led brokerage’, effectively providing incentives for the employment of suitably trained people from targeted areas
- Foster entrepreneurship in targeted areas, leading to business ownership by locals
- Support existing businesses with growth potential in targeted areas
- Identify and assist new business to begin operating within targeted areas, with a view to local job creation
- Identify opportunities to inject capital into social or not-for-profit enterprises which can foster economic development and jobs in target areas, and
- Track and report publicly and transparently on the economic and social outcomes.