Focus on local spending tackling joblessness

The underlying principle of the GROW initiative is that by aligning our efforts through Compact Signatories committing to Action Plans, we can tackle the place-based disadvantage that stems from joblessness and improve the economic and social prosperity of the whole G21 region.

The Plan Group has committed to a strategic GROW Action Plan to ensure we are able to maintain and integrate the GROW philosophy, that a prosperous community cares for the well-being of all its members.

James Dean, Plan Group’s Construction Manager says “Plan Group are committed to providing beneficial economic and social returns to the Geelong community through building positive relationships with local subcontractors and suppliers to undertake works on our projects. In summary, ensuring Plan Group provides local opportunities to local businesses wherever possible.

We are actively pursuing relationships with several other GROW companies.  We have engaged with 10 different Compact Signatories in 2020. We carefully considered what clauses to include within our documentation to begin sub-contractors awareness of Social Spend – Local and Social. We also considered strategies to include our formal commitment to the Grow program within our tender assessment phase of a project.”

The GROW team asked James what was different after the changes made as a result of their Action Plan?

James answered “Within all tender assessments we have now included the following wording ‘The contractors acknowledge that Plan Group Geelong is a compact signatory for Grow G21 Region and has committed to a formal action plan. Should the opportunity arise, Plan Group would like the contractors’ assistance in achieving items within our action plan. Some examples may include assistance for new job seekers, work experience, site tours or discussions about their scope of works, social procurement, or promotion of the GROW initiative. More information will be provided to the successful contractor upon contract award.’  This information also forms part of our contractual agreement with the sub-contractors that work on our projects.”

 The team then asked James, what was the outcome?

James answered “We have significant data now to offer GROW’s portal to support this initiative. A quick example is our local West Oval Redevelopment project, which has a local content expenditure of 89% of the overall contract sum. We now also have historical data demonstrating the Plan Group Geelong’s past procurement expenditure for each trade discipline which further demonstrates our commitment to the GROW philosophy.”

The Plan Group work is a great example of the positive outcomes for our community that can be achieved when a clear focus on local and social spending.