Is Your Organisation Eligible for Westpac Foundation’s New Jobs-focused Grants Program?
Image credit: Jiaqi Wang
If your social enterprise is looking to create inclusive and sustainable jobs in your local community, Westpac Foundation is inviting you to apply for their new grants program.
The Inclusive Employment Grants Program consists of up to 40 grants of $50,000 (over two years) which will focus on building the capacity of community organisations and social enterprises to generate meaningful employment outcomes, as well as increase their sustainability, and/or scale for greater impact. Westpac Foundation’s priority areas are:
- Supporting organisations in rural and regional communities to create greater economic diversification.
- Jobs and skills in the green economy and other emerging and growth industries such as technology and the care economy.
- Programs that build job-ready skills and career pathways for people overcoming barriers to work.
- First Nations enterprises that support local economic participation and connections to country.
Westpac Foundation has been offering their Community Grants program since 2012, but after the global pandemic, which had drastic impacts on the nature of work and wellbeing, they decided it needed to be reviewed. They engaged in a consultative process with existing grant partners and other key stakeholders to revise the program to better meet the needs of community organisations to deliver greater impact.
While unemployment is at record lows, there are still large numbers of Australians being impacted by underemployment. Those who are disproportionately affected are those who already face considerable barriers to employment, thus exacerbating the issue.
Westpac Foundation’s mission is to help social enterprises create 10,000 jobs by 2030 for people overcoming barriers to work. The revised program will allow them to continue that work in a way that will benefit local communities too.
For Senior Advisor at Westpac Foundation, Sally McGeoch, ‘we hear from our grant partners that a job is not just about the money – it’s a sense of purpose, a social network, and a way to support those we love… When people facing barriers to work have access to meaningful employment it empowers them, increasing their independence, social relationships and supports their health and wellbeing. It also helps to build resilient communities and contributes to a nation where all people are socially and economically included.”
Grant partners will also receive non-financial support including being matched with a Westpac Community Ambassador to help access a broad range of networking, leadership, business strategy, governance, and financial capability programs.
The two-year grant will also be the subject of an impact study and grant partners will be supported to build their capacity to measure and report on a range of key inclusive and sustainable employment outcomes.