2024 ‘Career Starter’ Category Honourable Mention

Banyule City Council, VIC

Banyule City Council Inclusive Employment Program

2024 ‘Career Starter’ Category Honourable Mention

The Initiative

The Inclusive Employment Program is celebrating five years of success at Banyule City Council. Developed in 2019, the program is a place–based response to localised unemployment among vulnerable community groups in Banyule.

This innovative program is a leading example of the role local government can play in supporting people from diverse backgrounds who have faced challenges engaging in paid work.

The Inclusive Employment Program is a six–month paid employment initiative that supports local people experiencing barriers to employment to gain meaningful work experience within the Council. The initiative sees employment opportunities across all of the Council’s work areas. Embracing diversity as a strength, each position is tailored to match an applicant’s area of interests, career goals, abilities, and skills, as well as the needs of the Council. Participants gain local government experience and can access coaching and development opportunities to help build their core skills for work and networks.

In the first five years, the program has employed 69 people, with 84% transitioning into further employment or education. Participants of the program reported increased confidence in workplace skills, expanded professional and social networks and a deeper understanding of the role of local government. Participants also expressed heightened motivation to work in local government long term and would recommend it to others.

The diversity of the roles on offer creates opportunities for young people, new entrants into the workforce and those seeking a new opportunity in local government. The program increases workforce participation for people facing barriers to employment and creates opportunity for local people to work in their community. Through this program the Council has increased access to diverse talent that enhances the diversity and inclusion of our workplace. This allows the Council to more accurately reflect and meet the needs of Banyule’s diverse communities.

The Council is working with the Northern Council Alliance to expand the Inclusive Employment Program across the northern region. An open–source toolkit of the program framework and delivery materials has been developed and is available to other councils to support them to implement the program.

About the Category

The ‘Career Starter’ category recognises outstanding career starter initiatives in local government which:

  • support entry-level employment opportunities in local government through apprenticeships, traineeships or cadetships;
  • help to improve the progress and representation of junior employees;
  • support and encourage emerging leaders, including mentoring, networking and training opportunities; and/or
  • demonstrate an outstanding apprentice, trainee or cadet who is making a difference to their community and workplace and that has been outstanding in all aspects of their training.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • promoting greater roles for young people, new entrants and those seeking a career change;
  • increasing workforce participation from people of all ages, and supporting succession planning and knowledge retention in the council and community; and/or
  • creating new opportunities for members of the community to work and stay in their region while being able to reach their potential.

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