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Geelong recruitment practice recognised with Australia’s first social enterprise certification

People@Work achieves social enterprise certification through Social Traders.

Local recruitment practice, People@Work, part of the Gforce Group, has become Social Traders certified – recognising the organisation as a social enterprise through Australia’s first trademark defining the rapidly growing sector.

Launched in April this year, Social Traders certification provides social enterprises with brand credibility and enhances their prospects of winning commercial procurement contracts with business and Government buyers.

Social enterprises are organisations that trade to intentionally improve communities and provide people access to employment or help the environment.

People@Work Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Brenden Caligari said, “People@Work became Social Traders certified following an extensive audit and verification process. The process saw our organisation demonstrate that we are driven by a public or community cause, derive our income from trade, not donations or grants and use the majority (at least 50%) of our profits to work towards our social mission.

Buying from a social enterprise is one of the easiest and most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage and strengthening Australian communities”, Mr Caligari said.

People@Work’s ethos is focussed on matching business with the best people, and when you consider that tens of thousands of people are benefiting from social enterprises across Australia, we can see that it is a significant agent for social change.

In recent years, People@Work has contributed to many local not-for-profit causes including Give Where You Live, Barwon Health, Lazarus Community Centre, Regional Industry Sector Employment Program (RISE) and L2P Mentor Program.

Victorian Government Social Procurement Framework

In April, the Victorian Government launched a “whole-of-government approach” to social procurement, with the Andrews government hoping to leverage its significant buying power to bolster the state’s social enterprise sector.

The Victorian Government has established Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework (SPF) that applies to the procurement of all goods, services and construction by, or on behalf of, Victorian Government departments and agencies from 1 September 2018.

The Victorian Government Level Crossing Removal Authority was leading the way, being the first body to adopt the new SPF, requiring that goods and services across its 50 projects are purchased from social enterprises.

Social Traders is actively working to help commercial and government buyers understand the huge social impact and significant community benefit they can achieve by including social enterprise in their procurement decisions.

Why should companies buy from a social enterprise?

Buying from a social enterprise is one of the easiest and most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage and strengthening Australian communities.

When business and government choose to buy from social enterprise, we refer to this as social procurement.

In essence, you get the product or service that you would have gotten from a commercial supplier, but you also get the added value created through jobs and opportunities for people who may have struggled to find work, re-invigoration of depressed or marginalised communities as well as driving better business outcomes through improved staff engagement and positive brand messaging.

A job for one of these people can be transformational, for that person and their family. When you consider that tens of thousands of people are benefiting from social enterprises across Australia, we can see that it is a significant agent for social change with the enormous potential to scale its impact.

About Social Traders

Social Traders exists to create jobs for disadvantaged Australians by linking business and government to social

enterprises.

Social Traders believes buying from social enterprise represents the greatest untapped potential in generating positive, sustainable social impact in Australia.

By adopting a more purposeful approach, business and government have the power to create real change and bring disadvantaged people into the labour market; whether they’re young people, people with a disability, the long term unemployed or recently arrived migrants and refugees.

Social Traders estimates procurement in Australia to be approx. $600 billion and that for $100,000 spent on social procurement 1.5 jobs are created for disadvantaged Australians.

By 2021, Social Traders goal is to generate 1,500 jobs for disadvantaged Australians. To achieve this the organisation will create a community of 95 buyer members and 600 certified social enterprise suppliers and facilitate $105 million in procurement spend.

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