People who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have gained ongoing work with Latrobe City Council.
The State Government created the Working for Victoria program to fund councils to employ these workers temporarily. The program also enabled councils to complete tasks they did not have the resources for.
As part of Working for Victoria, Latrobe City Council employed 68 people across a range of areas, including gardening, Meals on Wheels, depot and communications.
“A change of career path was unexpected for many of the Working for Victoria participants. The program presented an opportunity for them to see what Council has to offer and in turn led them to seek out permanent work,” Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Sharon Gibson said.
“We’re most excited to have them continue to contribute to our great City.”
Gary Larkin and Ricky Hallas-Turner joined the Urban Central Maintenance Team. Prior to joining the Working for Victoria program, Gary worked in customer service, while Ricky worked in civil construction and also as a tradesman.
The men chose to work for Latrobe City because of the possibility of personal development, and the opportunity to undertake training and pursue leadership positions in the future.
Jacob Forbes was a member of the Bush Crew and is now an apprentice gardener with Council’s Horticulture and Landscape Team. Before joining the Bush Crew, he worked in a similar role in the private sector. Tim Hodson joined Council’s Sealed Roads Team, after working as a motor mechanic.
Nadine Balfour gained a 12-month position as an administrator in Council’s Environmental Health team after working with the Meals on Wheels team as part of Working for Victoria.
The Victorian Government provided $500 million to the Working for Victoria initiative to help the community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Working for Victoria is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.