The appointment of Mr Don Matthews as the inaugural Local Jobs First Commissioner was announced today.

The Local Jobs First Commissioner will be an advocate for businesses, workers, apprentices, trainees and cadets, ensuring that they continue to benefit from Victorian Government procurement.

The Commissioner will also oversee compliance of local content and workforce commitments.

Mr Matthews is a highly regarded senior executive from the manufacturing industry and was until recently the Executive Director of the Industry Capability Network, whose role is to facilitate opportunities for local businesses to work on major projects.

He has held several senior roles in industry, including Chief Operating Officer at Carter Holt Harvey and Managing Director of the Penola Pulp group and was a board member of the Australian Industry Group.

As the Local Jobs First Commissioner, Mr Matthews will balance advocacy, engagement, facilitation and compliance functions.

The Local Jobs First Bill was enshrined in law in August this year, ensuring that all Victorian Government departments and agencies must apply local jobs first for contracts valued at $1 million or more in regional Victoria, or $3 million or more in metropolitan Melbourne.

It also requires mandated job opportunities be created for apprentices, trainees and cadets on projects worth over $20 million.