The hit to women’s workforce participation and feminised industries was seismic over two years living through a global pandemic. Thankfully, that impact is being recognised by the New South Wales government, which is set to improve and continue its Return to Work program with additional funding of $32 million.
The program will support eligible women cover the costs of common financial barriers like wardrobe, technology and training in their transition back to employment. The $5000 grants will be allocated with the impetus to boost women’s success and economic participation.
“We want to provide them the financial independence they need to get back into the workforce and help set them up for success in the future,” Treasurer Matt Kean says, with the new funding intended to help 6000 women with their return to the workforce or to complete new training.
The NSW government kickstarted the program during the height of the pandemic with a $10 million investment, which saw 1500 women qualify for grants. According to the government, 65% of those women entered new jobs.
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“It was a response to COVID-19 because we knew women were more adversely affected by COVID as it impacted the industries that were female dominated we knew we had to do something different,” Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said.
“In NSW we know if women are thriving, the whole state thrives.”
Women who have been unemployed for at least a month and looking to start work within six months will be eligible for the grants. Applications open from July 1 with the full details of this year’s NSW Budget unveiled on June 21.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.