Victoria has started rolling out its ambitious jobs program as the end nears for the federal government’s JobKeeper measure.
The state government’s $619.4 million Jobs Victoria scheme was launched on Tuesday, with more than 450 advocates to help people find employment.
Jobs Victoria aims to create 400,000 new jobs by 2025, half of them by next year.
JobKeeper will end on March 31 and state Employment Minister Jaala Pulford said that loomed over the launch of the Victorian scheme.
“We’re certainly concerned about the impact that JobKeeper coming off in a couple of weeks will have,” Ms Pulford said at Tuesday’s launch.
“We’ve been conscious of that deadline as we’ve been preparing this support and I’m very pleased we will be open for applications for people whose employment starts from today.
“We will be stepping into that breach, but of course we would like that federal government support to continue.”
Ms Pulford said the number of Victorian businesses receiving JobKeeper had been “consistently declining”, but noted plenty still needed that support.
Job Victoria will also offer $20,000 subsidies to businesses who provide employment, with a focus on women over 45 and other groups hardest hit by the pandemic.
Ms Pulford said Jobs Victoria quadrupled the state government’s financial support for people seeking work.
“The Jobactive system that the federal government runs leaves a lot of people behind,” she said.
“There are a lot of people in vitro community who aren’t eligible for that support and our intention is to step in and provide the kind of one-onone support and advice that Victorian job seekers need.”