Jobs initiative delivers for Geelong

The Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria initiative has delivered a huge array of benefits to the Greater Geelong community over the past eight months.

The City of Greater Geelong was able to secure work for hundreds of residents through the statewide $500 million initiative.

The jobs program was aimed at supporting people who had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or who had been unemployed for a long period of time.

Since August 2020, the City has used the Victorian Government-funded initiative to redeploy some existing employees and recruit 185 new employees to the organisation.

The program supported a variety of roles, including administration officers; data analysts and collection officers; support officers; healthy communities education officers; welfare contact officers; graffiti removalists and sanitisation team members.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the Working for Victoria program had been a welcome initiative during the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working for Victoria has been a great success and I’d like to thank all those who joined us via the program for the work they have done for the community.

Not only did it allow us to provide ongoing work for our own employees affected by the facility shutdowns, but it meant we could bring onboard more than 160 new workers.

This allowed us to support our community by meeting the high demand for essential services, introduce COVID-19 specific programs and bring forward work on vital projects.

The City’s Working for Victoria employees oversaw key programs such as:

  • The processing of 3231 refunds and fee waivers, which the Council had introduced through its Economic and Community Support Packages;
  • Continued delivery of Meals on Wheels to clients during the toughest periods of COVID-19 restrictions;
  • A daily sanitisation program across the municipality, including weekly sanitisation support for sport and recreation clubs;
  • An expansion of the kerbside recycling inspection program from one team to four, allowing for up to 1500 residential bins to be checked each day.

A large team of 25 Maintenance Support Officers helped keep parks clean and tidy, refurbish playgrounds and maintain green open spaces and garden beds.

While an asset management team carried out condition assessments on more than 200,000 public assets, including more than 20,000km worth of footpaths.

This massive audit will inform the City’s capital works program in 2021-22 and coming years.

Councillor Peter Murrihy, Chair of the Economic Development portfolio said the program had been valuable in providing meaningful employment during a tough time and helping workers re-establish themselves in the jobs market.

Some residents who joined us through the Working for Victoria initiative have been able to secure full-time or ongoing work with the City.

While others have used this valuable experience, often in an unrelated field to their previous employment, to develop new skills and to find another job.

Those employed under the statewide $500 million jobs program were supported with six-month contracts.

The last of these roles will be in place until 11 June.

Windermere councillor Anthony Aitken thanked all of the employees who had engaged with the Working for Victoria initiative.

We’re grateful to all of our Working for Victoria employees for the enormous contribution they have made and for those who are moving on, we wish them all the best in their future career endeavours.

We would also like to thank the Victorian Government and Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford for their commitment to the program and their support of so many Geelong residents.

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