A new trial program which will help empower local communities to design and implement local solutions to unemployment commences in the region this week.

The Coalition Government’s $18.4 million Regional Employment Trials recognises that partnering with local communities in designing employment solutions which reflect their local community’s own distinct needs can lead to stronger engagement and more effective employment outcomes.

Russell Broadbent, Federal Member for McMillan, said the Government recognises that the Gippsland region faces unique challenges and requires innovative and tailored solutions to local employment problems.

“The Regional Employment Trials program brings together local expertise to improve employment opportunities for people looking for work in our community.

“I especially want to encourage local businesses to partner with the community to invest in low-skilled and untrained workers, and individuals who haven’t worked in a long time — to give more people an opportunity to become more productive and contribute to the economy and our community.

Under the program, trial regions across Australia will receive $1 million in grant funding, with local stakeholders able to apply for individual grants of between $7,500 and $200,000 for employment-related projects such as mentoring programs and the upskilling of local unemployed people to become more job ready.

“The program will help people in our community to get a job.

Since the Coalition came to office in 2013 more than 1.1 million jobs have been created.

“Under the Coalition Government there are more Australians in work than ever before, and more Australians in full-time work than ever before,” Mr Broadbent said.

Further information and details about how to apply can be found at www.jobs.gov.au/ret