OHS and WHS: Jobs cops will enforce compliance in Victoria

The Victorian government’s local jobs policies will be legislated in law and a new Jobs Cop will enforce local content targets to put Victorian workers and businesses first.

The Victorian Local Jobs First Bill will be introduced to Parliament next year and will mandate the use of local content and local apprentices on the states most significant public projects – from road and rail projects to schools and hospitals – ensuring every major contractor is held to account.

The Victorian Local Jobs First Commissioner – or Jobs Cop – will be created to monitor and enforce the laws and oversee compliance of local workforce and content targets. A new regime will also be developed to target non-compliance.

As Victoria’s advocate for local content, the Jobs Cop will work closely with industry and departments to open-up opportunities for small and medium firms on government projects.

“This is about making things fair for Victorian workers and businesses on our major projects,” said Premier Andrews

“We’re building Victorian, employing Victorian – and with our commitment to locally made uniforms, we’ll be buying Victorian too.”

There will also be a new requirement on all government agencies to buy local uniforms and locally manufactured personal protective equipment – such as high-vis vests, hard hats and safety goggles – where possible, instead of importing gear from overseas.

The governments Major Projects Skills Guarantee requires contractors on public projects valued at more than $20 million to use apprentices, trainees or engineering cadets for at least 10% of total labour hours.

To drive local jobs across the supply chain – local content targets have been set on major government works including 100% local steel on level crossings and 50% local content on rolling stock.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll said: “We’re also proud to be backing our local clothing and textile manufacturers to supply government agencies with the equipment they need.”



Image sourced from Flickr cc: Tom Page

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