THE Give Where You Live Foundation and G21’s GROW initiative is reporting a $20.2 million increase of local procurement among 16 of GROW’s participating organisations across the G21 region.
Economic modelling by Remplan shows that this local procurement, generated through GROW, has led to 179 jobs across the five municipalities in the G21 region.
The procurement has created 75 jobs or placements in disadvantaged target communities – a major objective of the GROW initiative.
These achievements were celebrated last week at GROW’s second annual ‘report card’ event.
GROW was jointly established by the Give Where You Live Foundation and G21 to address disadvantage in the region through creating jobs, especially within areas of high unemployment.
One of the key principles of GROW is to encourage enterprises to buy and employ locally, keeping the economic benefits of spending within the community and specifically assisting areas of disadvantage.
More than 80 organisations have signed the GROW compact, committing to procure and employ locally wherever practical.
Last week’s announcement is based on expenditure and employment data collected from 16 GROW Compact signatories.
Give Where You Live Foundation chief executive officer Bill Mithen said the results demonstrate that GROW is creating an environment that nurtures job opportunities in Colac, Corio, Norlane and Whittington, where unemployment is at double-digit levels, and well above regional and state averages.
“Shifting $20.2 million of non-local expenditure to local suppliers is growing the economy within the region, which in turn is creating employment opportunities in targeted disadvantaged areas,” Mr Mithen said.
“This is clearly evident through the 75 job seekers who have successfully gained employment. Of these 75 jobs created, 16 per cent of the workers came from Colac, 52 per cent from Corio and Norlane and 32 per cent from Whittington.
“Importantly, we have also identified that of the 56 jobs created in target areas last year, in our first reporting period, 72 per cent of these are still employed. That is a very strong retention rate, of which we are extremely proud.
“This indicates that not only is this project creating jobs for people in target areas, it is also providing a network that will support both the employer and employee.”
For more information on GROW, head to g21.com.au.