Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s inquiry into Sustainable Employment for Disadvantaged Jobseekers in Victoria.

In our submission, we argue that the nature of entrenched disadvantage and social inequality in Victoria must be better understood and addressed. This includes the need for community-led, place-based responses to address disadvantage within communities and promote early intervention and prevention initiatives across a broad range of services.

Jesuit Social Services is also advocating for ongoing funding for programs such as JVEN and Skills First Reconnect. We welcome the $8.8 million commitment in funding to Jobs Victoria and JVEN, contained in the 2019-20 Victorian Budget. However, we continue to call on the Victorian Government to expand investment in these initiatives, with funding provided over the long-term, to support Victorians experiencing significant barriers to employment.

In our submission, we also highlight the opportunity for some of the major infrastructure projects currently being planned or underway in Victoria to achieve positive social outcomes as well as the need to introduce a spent convictions scheme, invest in new public housing stock, and to lower the age of eligibility for the successful Navigator program.

Read our submission to the inquiry here.