VCOSS supports the operations of two traineeship programs in support of Victoria’s growing community services industry.

Victoria’s community services industry has a long history of supporting people facing poverty and disadvantage. It is also a major contributor to the Victorian economy, contributing almost $15 billion to the Victorian economy every year.

The community services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the state.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic employment in the health and social assistance industry was projected to grow by approximately 200,000 people nationally between 2020-2024. It is anticipated that further workforce growth is now needed due to the pandemic.


Community Traineeship Pilot Program

VCOSS has been funded by Jobs Victoria – through the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) –to deliver the Jobs Victoria Community Traineeship Pilot Program.  The program is targeted to young Victorian job seekers, to address youth unemployment and increased workforce demand in the community services industry.

The Program was officially launched by the then Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula on 12 June 2019 at the City of Greater Dandenong Civic Centre.


About the project

The Jobs Victoria Community Traineeship Pilot Program (CTPP) aims to deliver a new, best-practice model of traineeships in the community services industry.

The CTPP is being delivered between 2019 and 2022 and supporting up to 120 young people facing disadvantage to secure a traineeship in a community service organisation. It will provide flexible, wraparound support to trainees to address barriers to participation and maximise their employment outcomes. The program will also build capacity within community service organisations to supervise and support trainees.

The trial and evaluation of this best-practice model will assist community services to host traineeships in the future and build a pipeline of new workers to support community sector workforce needs. The developmental evaluation of this project is being managed by FSSI in partnership with VCOSS (you can read more about FSSI here).

The program will provide traineeships to eligible young people living in the City of Greater Dandenong and the City of Hume. One of the key differences between the CTPP and other traineeship models is that both the trainee and their workplace supervisor are supported throughout the length of the traineeship. As part of the program, VCOSS has engaged two Local Partner Organisations from these local government areas:


These organisations provide local project coordination, including recruitment, retention and support to both trainees and to employers (host organisations) who take on a trainee.

VCOSS has engaged local TAFE providers to deliver high-quality, industry-relevant, accredited courses to trainees. Program participants complete a Certificate IV in Community Services as part of their training, alongside a paid work placement with their host organisation for 12 months.

Since the program commenced in May 2019:
  • 84 young people have commenced traineeships with Community Services Organisations
  • Three groups of trainees have completed their Certificate IV in Community Services
  • There are another 3 groups in the program – one is due to complete in August 2021, one in December 2021, and the final group in April 2022
  • Over half of the trainees to complete have secured ongoing employment with their employer post the completion of their traineeship.


Innovative Traineeships Program

About the Project:

The Innovative Traineeships Program (the program) is funded by the Victorian Government, Department of Education and Training (DET), managed by the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and supported by Partner Organisations Uniting Vic. Tas (Uniting) and Wellways. The program will support up to 50 people from across western Melbourne and Gippsland to complete community services traineeships in community services organisations

Trainees in the program will be employed by disability or community services organisations for 12 months while they concurrently complete a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) completed through either Victoria University Polytechnic (VU) or TAFE Gippsland.

The Innovative Traineeships Program uses a supported traineeship model designed to ensure workplace supervisors, employers, trainees and TAFEs are supported and work closely throughout the traineeship journey.

Interested in taking on a trainee?
To be eligible to employ a trainee from the Program, an organisation must:

  • Be a disability services, community services, community health or local government organisation
  • Provide opportunities for a trainee to engage with people with disability – through either disability specific services or more general community services programs

Employ, supervise and support a trainee for 12 months

  • Have a presence in either western Melbourne or Gippsland

As an employer, you will:

  • Be allocated $400 (per trainee) towards the training of the allocated workplace supervisor who is supporting the trainee
  • Be able to access the support from a dedicated Local Project Coordinator who will support employers, supervisors and trainees throughout the duration of the traineeship
  • Be provided with tailored resources to support supervisors such as the Innovative Traineeships Workplace Supervisor’s Manual
  • Be given the opportunity to grow your workforce in a way that suits organisation’s unique needs.

To find out more visit: