Strengthening local employment solutions across Victoria 

Design and facilitation of Local Jobs Forums in partnership with Jobs Victoria

Together for good – the client challenge

As Victoria’s economy rebounded from significant disruptions caused by COVID-19, workforce constraints remained a major challenge across the state. Despite record low unemployment rates, Victoria’s employers faced a multitude of barriers to filling jobs including reduced migration rates, workforce availability and labour mobility.

Jobs Victoria supports people looking for work and connects employers with the staff they need. With partner organisations right across the state, Jobs Victoria offers personalised support to people who face barriers to joining the labour force, and free recruitment support and advice to employers looking for staff.

To help overcome barriers to work and boost local employment outcomes, Jobs Victoria held 16 Local Jobs Forums across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria from late July to early October 2022. The forums connected employers, employment service providers and community services to elevate opportunities for collaboration and initiate local action.

Jobs Victoria sought Cube’s engagement and facilitation expertise to maximise the impact of the forums and turn ideas into opportunities for lasting change.


Bringing the right thinking and people to the table

We deployed an experienced team with a breadth of skills across workshop design, engagement and facilitation to work in partnership with Jobs Victoria. We provided tailored engagement advice and frameworks, delivered practical materials to support forum preparation, and carefully designed each individual forum to reflect the unique local context of the region. 

We delivered dynamic and high energy sessions using expert facilitation techniques. Our facilitation included lived experience panel discussions with a diverse range of guests and large group plenary discussions to draw out deep, often personal insights from participants that could influence real change.  

The forums enabled participants to build new connections across their communities. Our approach supported participants to connect, co-design and create foundations for joined-up local action. 

"Jobs Victoria set out on a series of local jobs forums across the state and Cube were alongside us all the way, as we outlined the business case for inclusive employment to Victorian employers. Cube’s facilitation meant employers throughout the state heard directly from jobseekers with lived experience about the positive changes they could make by embracing more inclusive recruitment practices to address their workforce shortages."
Dr. Sharn Enzinger
Executive Director, Delivery, Jobs Victoria
“Balancing the needs of jobseekers and employers can drive great innovation in employment approaches, with potential to provide life-changing opportunities to jobseekers whilst helping employers find great staff.”
Chris Porter
Associate, Cube Group

The positive change we delivered

We worked in partnership with Jobs Victoria throughout all stages of forum design and delivery, enabling the forums to: 

  • Elevate success stories from jobseekers and employers on what can be achieved through inclusive employment approaches. 
  • Amplify awareness of employment support services offered by Jobs Victoria and their broad network of partners.
  • Translate local insights into opportunities to get more people into the workforce.  

Pulling together the outputs of the forum series, we collated the participants’ ideas and presented them in a way that distinguished between the key opportunities for specific regions and those relevant across the whole state. We identified how, why and where ideas could be activated, providing a platform for Jobs Victoria to work with key partners to provide barrier breaking innovations to Victoria’s employment landscape. 

Insights for inquisitive minds

  • Go bespoke – When delivering a series of events in different locations, be prepared to tailor each one to be bespoke to the specific local context. This demonstrates respect for the uniqueness and diversity of local communities, and paves the way for rich and genuine participant insight. 
  • Create space for connection Lasting impacts are made in sessions that are deliberately designed to support connection between participants. Paying attention to little things’ like layout of the event space, time between activities and how facilitators use technology makes a real difference.

  • Prepare for great panels Providing a safe and supportive environment for panel guests is essential when they are sharing their lived experiences. Investing time in getting to know your panellists and co-designing the panel approach with them can unlock great conversations that illicit deep insights, and helps ensure they have a positive experience when sharing their story.

For more information, see Jobs Victoria’s videos about the Barwon Local Jobs Forum and the Central Highlands Local Jobs Forum.