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A regional employment trial to create more job opportunities in the Latrobe Valley has commenced.

Gippsland has been selected as one of 10 regions across Australia to benefit from a new Federal Government employment trial that will enable local organisations, which understand the issues on the ground, to design solutions to local employment challenges.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the program recognised that the Latrobe Valley faced unique challenges to employment.

The trial regions will each receive $1 million in grant funding, with local stakeholders able to apply for individual grants of between $7,500 and $200,000 for employment-related projects.

“The fund will support local employment projects such as mentoring programs and the upskilling of people looking for work so that they are job ready,” Mr Chester said.

“It will mean people who are looking for work will receive every assistance possible to participate in the local labour market.”

Mr Chester said some of the projects that could be funded included preparing job seekers for upcoming infrastructure projects and work experience programs that provided local employment opportunities.

To ensure a strong connection with employment programs, projects would need to partner with at least one eligible employment services provider located within Gippsland.

Employment Facilitators have been appointed in all 10 trial regions to work with local stakeholders in developing projects and to advise the local RDA committee on employment matters.

The trial program will run until June 30, 2020.

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