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Introducing the Inclusive Employment Grants program

Natalie from social enterprise partner The Social Outfit, an ethical fashion label that creates training and employment opportunities for refugee and new migrant women.


In response to the significant impact of COVID, climate change, and the changing nature of work, Westpac Foundation is evolving its long-standing Community Grants program to deliver a new jobs-focused grants program more closely aligned with its 2030 strategy and mission to help their grant partners create 10,000 new jobs.

Up to $1.9 million in funding will be available through the Inclusive Employment Grants program, designed to support organisations creating inclusive and sustainable jobs in local communities across Australia.

Westpac Foundation Acting CEO Amy Lyden says inclusive and sustainable jobs are those that take a “people-centred” approach.

“Many people across the nation face barriers to finding employment in the mainstream job market, where their skills and talent can be overlooked,” she says.

“Inclusive and sustainable jobs focus on addressing the complex needs of individuals and communities and offer the flexibility and support that helps them transition to quality mainstream employment.”

The new program will focus on building the capacity of community organisations and social enterprises to generate meaningful employment outcomes, as well as increase their sustainability and help them scale for greater impact in priority areas such as: 

  • Supporting organisations in rural and regional communities to create greater economic diversification.
  • Jobs and skills in the green economy and other emerging and growth industries such as technology and the care economy.
  • Programs that build job-ready skills and career pathways for people overcoming barriers to work.  
  • First Nations enterprises that support local economic participation and connections to country. 

Each grant is valued at $50,000 over two years and in addition to funding, grant partners will also receive non-financial support including being matched with a Westpac Community Ambassador to help access a broad range of networking, leadership, business strategy, governance and financial capability programs.

“Working alongside one of Australia’s biggest companies,” continues Lyden, “enables us to connect our community partners with networks and resources, including hundreds of passionate employee volunteers, to create even greater impact.”

The two-year grant will also be the subject of an impact study and grant partners will be supported to build their capacity to measure and report on a range of key inclusive and sustainable employment outcomes.

Applications for 2022 Inclusive Employment Grants are open 1 – 29 June 2022.