Women in New South Wales will receive a $5,000 boost to help them return to work within the next six months, the NSW Premier has revealed.
As part of its 2020-21 State Budget, to be handed down tomorrow, the NSW Government is launching grants of up to $5,000 through its new Return to Work program to provide women with financial assistance, mentoring, advice and training to help them get back into the workforce.
The scheme, which will cost the state government $10 million, is available to NSW women who have been out of work for at least a month and plan to start paid work within six months.
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“These grants will help women whose employment has been affected by Covid-19 to overcome some of the obstacles in returning to the workforce,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“I encourage women from all walks of life to apply for these grants and use this springboard to jump back into their former career or even start a new one.”
NSW women will be able to use the money for training and education, office supplies, and “whatever it is they need to get back into a job,” said NSW Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor.
“The money can also be used for childcare, including before and after school care and transport, which will really help mothers overcome some of the biggest barriers to getting back into work.”
Women make up more than half of industries that have been directly impacted by the pandemic, and 65 of secondary industries that have been impacted, including accommodation and food services, retail, arts and professional services.
Helping women get back to work will be a “financial lifeline” for them but also help the economy at large, said NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
“We know that many part-time or casual positions and female-dominated industries were severely impacted by Covid-19, so we are looking to empower as many women as possible to be able to get back into paid employment,” Mr Perrottet said.
Women who are eligible for the program will be assigned a Return to Work coordinator to develop a plan outlining the resources needed to help them back into the workforce.
Women who are interested in the grant are encouraged to visit the Service NSW website for further information.
Improving workforce participation for women and access to childcare have long been recognised as methods to boost the economy.
The centrepiece of Labor’s budget reply revolved around a significant $6.2 billion childcare subsidy plan, while Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work senior economist Alison Pennington has told Yahoo Finance that free public childcare could be key to economic recovery that would create 50,000 new jobs, secure another 160,000, and create 6,500 construction jobs.
Analysis from the Grattan Institute shows an additional $5 billion investment in childcare would generate an extra $11 billion a year to Australia’s GDP.
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