JOBS PROGRAM CHANGING LIVES FOR PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS

A program to help public housing tenants get jobs has given more than 1,100 Victorians a leg up into employment.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne today announced the milestone as he opened stage one of the $20 million-plus Stokes Penola housing estate in Preston, spread across two sites with 68 public housing units.

The Andrews Labor Government’s Public Tenant Employment Program (PTEP) has given hundreds of public housing tenants a pathway into work in construction, security, gardening, cleaning and office administration.

The new estate features sustainability and design features including water harvesting and solar energy, with homes that are modern, secure and seven-star energy-efficient.

Aydarus Mohamed and Mohamed Ballo are two public housing tenants who worked on Stokes Penola through the Public Tenant Employment Program, which brings government-contracted businesses together with eligible public housing tenants to create job opportunities.

When commercial builder SJ Higgins was contracted to build new public housing in Preston, the PTEP made it possible for the two tenants of public housing in Melbourne’s west to get work with the construction team.

They signed on as labourers at the Stokes Penola site in Preston where 68 new public housing properties have been built under the Labor Government’s $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program. Their work included traffic management and materials lifting.

When that work finished Aydarus and Mohamed were retained as labourers by SJ Higgins, with ongoing jobs. Both have continued their training – Aydarus now has a Certificate III in construction and recently earned tickets in working the hoist and the boom lift, while Mohamed has obtained tickets in docking and safety monitoring.

Jobs are just one part of the Program – it has also funded accredited training for more than 2,000 public housing tenants in areas of skills shortage, including labouring, office administration and cleaning.

The Labor Government is building 1,000 additional public housing properties over the next three years, developing around 6,000 social housing dwellings through the Homes for Victorians program and funding thousands of new social housing properties through the $1 billion Social Housing Growth Fund.