Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund

Up to $250,000 is available from Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund to support new and innovative approaches to employment support and employment services.

Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund

Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund

The Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund is a $3 million initiative of Jobs Victoria. The Fund has been established to support new and innovative approaches to employment support and employment services through the provision of small grants.



With $53 million over four years allocated in the 2016-17 Budget, Jobs Victoria will consolidate all Victorian employment services into one system, making it easier for jobseekers to access the help they need to get work. The aim is that disadvantaged jobseekers will benefit from a more coordinated and streamlined approach that not only increases work readiness but also results in sustainable employment outcomes.

The Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund (the Fund) has been established to enable the Victorian Government to support new and innovative approaches to employment support and employment services through the provision of small grants. The Fund will operate over three years, with a total budget of $3 million. The Fund is administered by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Programs, Small Business and Employment Division. As investment in jobs growth continues across the state there will be more opportunities for work. The government is determined that disadvantaged Victorians are not left behind and are able to share in the social and economic benefits that come from employment.



Grants of between $50,000 to $250,000 will be available for any one project. Applications will need to demonstrate how the proposed outcomes justify the grant investment.

Projects that can demonstrate a use of partnership and/or leveraging of additional funding will be prioritised. Indicatively the department will expect to support up to 75 per cent of total project costs, depending on project need.


Eligible Projects

The Fund will provide grants to support new projects that will benefit:

  • Disadvantaged jobseekers with significant barriers to employment
  • Unemployed or underemployed youth
  • Victorian jobseekers and employers, by contributing to the workforce needs of emerging industries
  • The employment services sector, through improved knowledge, research and capacity.

The department will also consider applications for projects outside of these priorities where they address a pressing local need, are considered highly innovative, take advantage of a time-limited opportunity or represent significant value for money.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for funding, an applicant must:

  • be an incorporated entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been established for over 18 months
  • have an organisational presence in Victoria
  • have sufficient resources to manage the proposed project.



Applications close 31 May 2018.


Round 1 Recipients

Grants were awarded to three projects under round one of the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund:

International Specialised Skills Institute – Jobs Victoria International Fellowships

International Specialised Skills Institute will offer and manage the provision of ten International Fellowships to Jobs Victoria Mentors.

The Jobs Victoria International Fellowships provide an opportunity for practitioners working within Jobs Victoria Partner organisations to investigate and explore international models and approaches that deliver mainstream employment outcomes for jobseekers facing barriers to employment. The outcomes and impact of the research undertaken is designed to advance innovative, best practice and emerging models of delivering employment support. Fellows will share their learnings with other Jobs Victoria Partners, identify new employment service approaches that could be adopted in Victoria, offer an opportunity for networked learning exchange, and create value across the sector.

National Disability Services – Ticket to Work and the After School Job

National Disability Services will use evidence based interventions to assist high school students with significant disability to prepare for, gain, and sustain after-school-hours work.

This grant will fund an extension of the Ticket to Work program to assist young people with significant disability into after-school employment.  Research has consistently found that frequent exposure to real work environments for young people with disability not only increases post-school employment outcomes, but significantly lowers absenteeism and dropout rates from school. Ticket to Work has shown that young people with disability are able to thrive in open employment when prepared and supported whilst at school through a coordinated approach.

Specialisterne Centre Australia – Dandelion Program Victoria

Specialisterne Centre Australia will design and operate a program to deliver careers to Victorian autistic adults in a range of industries.

The grant will fund the establishment of a program to identify and deliver job opportunities in one metropolitan and one regional Victorian location.  It will focus primarily on medium-sized businesses that would otherwise not have the resources to establish meaningful career paths for Victorian autistic adults who currently experience barriers to employment.


Media Release

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the expansion of an innovative digital service that will help young Victorians experiencing mental illness engage in work and study.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll joined acting headspace CEO Julia Smith in Knox today to launch the second round of the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund.

Almost $2 million has been awarded to nine organisations, including headspace, who will receive almost $250,000 to support 160 young Victorians experiencing mental illness with career and employment support.

headspace’s Digital Work and Study Service helps young people to transition from school to work and further study, providing one-on-one support, access to digital mentoring and help to self-manage mental health challenges at work and study over the phone, through web chat, video conferencing or email.

The funding from Jobs Victoria supports the expansion of the digital service to 22 local headspace centres and connection to 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks. It fills a critical gap in early intervention support for young people who are not engaging with employment services through traditional methods.

The service has undergone a successful trial that showed most participants felt it provided valuable support for young people. More than two thirds of those accessing the service achieved positive work and study outcomes.

Other organisations funded include Brite Services, Echo Australia Incorporated, Monash University, Specialisterne, Westvic Staffing Solutions, Groomed to Go, Holmesglen Institute, in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital and Jesuit Social Services.

The Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund is part of the Labor Government’s $90 million Jobs Victoria initiative, which has provided tailored support services to more than 8,000 Victorians who have faced barriers to employment.


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