Mayoral blog

We regularly feature a blog by a different Mayor on how their council is making a positive difference for their community.

Banyule City Council, Mayor, Cr Elizabeth Nealy

Banyule City Council, Mayor, Cr Elizabeth Nealy

In 2018 Banyule created its award-winning Inclusive Employment Program, an evidence-based program designed to respond to inequality in employment in our community. Now in its fifth year, the program was co-designed with people who have lived experience of barriers to employment. The outcomes for participants have been outstanding.

Banyule’s Inclusive Employment Program offers local people a six-month job at Council. They are placed in a paid role tailored to their interests, goals, strengths and abilities.

In addition to gaining local job experience, participants have one-on-one coaching and attend workshops to identify their strengths and build skills and knowledge. They also develop strong support and professional networks.

Due to the flexibility of the program, we can provide support tailored to the needs of each participant. This approach provides a safe space for participants and enables them to demonstrate their skills and talents.

Our experience shows that when individuals feel heard and seen and are supported in a way that is specific to them and their goals, they will grow and shine professionally and personally.

Program participant: “I think that the acceptance of meeting people where they are in life and working with them to help their career is incredibly powerful. The fact that you do this with a group of peers makes you feel less isolated.”

Acknowledging that success looks different for everyone, of the 52 participants who completed the program over the past four years, 29 have gained ongoing employment, 15 secured casual employment at Banyule City Council and 11 found jobs externally. For many, the program has been life-changing, opening doors to employment, helping them gain confidence and creating feelings of belonging. These outcomes highlight the success of the program and its ability to create long-term change for the most vulnerable in our community.

Photograph of people at a training session

Program participant: “Meeting people who are more experienced and skilled, getting a chance to hear from others how they reached where they are now, makes me hopeful about the future and gives me confidence.”

Local government plays an important role in creating an inclusive economy. We are best placed to address the barriers to employment faced by our communities. The Inclusive Employment Program supports individuals who are facing these challenges and enables councils to:

  • Increase diversity in their workforce
  • Address unemployment and meet the needs of the local community
  • Benefit from the variety of skills and knowledge program participants bring with them
  • Strengthen partnerships with local organisations and service providers
  • Strengthen vulnerable cohorts and support their engagement with Council
  • Be a local employer of choice.

With support from the Municipal Association of Victoria, Banyule Council has created an online, step-by-step guide and toolkit to guide you through the process of setting up and running your own Inclusive Employment Program.

With this toolkit you have an opportunity to make a real impact for job seekers in your community. As a council, you have the power to do something meaningful that will be valued not only by the individuals participating, but also by the broader community.

Cr Elizabeth Nealy
Mayor of Banyule

Banyule City Council Inclusive Employment Program resources

Previous Mayoral blogs

An archive of previous Mayoral blogs is available at Previous Mayoral blogs.