Organisations with innovative ideas for job creation are being invited to be part of the first round of the Australian Government’s new $650 million Jobs Fund with applications opening today.
Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor said the Fund is part of the Rudd Government’s Jobs and Training Compact established to support families and communities most affected by the global economic recession.
The Jobs Fund was announced by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, on 5 April. Advertisements calling for applications appeared in national print media today.
The Jobs Fund builds on the Rudd Government’s $42 billion National Building Economic Stimulus Plan and will support jobs and build skills for the future through community, environmental and social infrastructure projects.
The Fund consists of three streams:
- $300 million forLocal Jobsto invest in community projects of up to $2 million that help protect the environment or promote sustainability and will include $60 million for community heritage projects, and $40 million for commuter bike paths.
- $200 million toGet Communities Workingwhich will invest in local council and not-for-profit projects of up to $2 million to upgrade vital community facilities and build community capacity.
- $150 million forInfrastructure Employment Projectsto be initiated by the Australian Government for the construction of local infrastructure that will create immediate jobs in communities affected by the global economic downturn.
The Government is encouraging organizations with innovative ideas to create or support jobs through community infrastructure and social enterprises to put forward proposals.
Proposals should aim to deliver positive jobs, environmental, heritage and community outcomes.
Eligible organisations for the Get Communities Working and Local Jobs streams include not-for-profit and community organisations, employment services providers and local, state and territory governments.
Infrastructure Employment Projects will be initiated by the Australian Government in partnership with state and territory governments.
Priority will be given to projects in regions experiencing high levels of disadvantage and most affected by job losses.
Projects will need to demonstrate at least one of the following criteria to:
- Create jobs or retain people in jobs at risk due to the global recession.
- Build skills for the future.
- Build community infrastructure or improve community facilities which generates local jobs.
- Provide seed funding for social enterprises to start up, maintain or expand existing services, generating jobs and improve community services.
The $300 million Local Jobs stream has been developed with Senator Bob Brown and the $200 million Get Communities Working stream has been developed with Senator Steve Fielding.
In the first funding round, $100 million is available under the Local Jobs and the Get Communities Working streams. One-off grants of up to $2 million will be provided to projects ready to begin from July 2009.
Jobs Fund guidelines, proposal forms and more information is available at www.deewr.gov.au. Applications for the first round of funding close 4.30pm EST, Friday 22 May.