NSW Labor promises $13.8 million in funding to support women in work

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NSW Labor have marked International Women’s Day today by announcing $13.8 million in funding to get women into work and provide ongoing industrial relations support once they’re there.

According to the NSW Government’s workforce participation report

  • Women’s workforce participation has steadily increased since 2010 but remains below men’s participation in the workforce.
    • As of January 2023 the average participation rate for men is 70.9 percent and for women 61.4 percent.
  • As of November 2022 the gender pay gap was at 11 percent.
    • In monetary terms on average men earn $1,688 weekly, compared to women’s weekly average of $1,437 – a difference of $257.

Future Women’s Jobs Academy

NSW Labor will support 1,000 women over two years to become job-ready, boosting women’s workforce participation and economic security while addressing chronic labour and skills shortages in New South Wales.

The $5.8 million investment will give women the confidence and capabilities they need through all stages of their return-to-work journey, from initial exploration to ongoing support once they find a new job.

The program will give women access to:

  • Online resources hub
  • Professional development and skills training
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Community, content and events
  • Employer connections
  • A lifetime of support – ongoing Future Women membership

Future Women’s Jobs Academy program has been designed by women, to work alongside women and has been successfully piloted with the Commonwealth Office for Women.

Working Women’s Centre

NSW Labor will also work closely with the federal government and relevant stakeholder to establish a new Working Women’s Centre in NSW.

These Centres are a frontline service that help women navigate work-related issues including sexual harassment, underpayment, wage theft and parental leave. The former NSW centre was forced to close due to inadequate funding.

NSW Labor will work hand in hand with the Albanese Government, industry and stakeholders to see a centre re-established in NSW and will commit $2 million in ongoing funding so it can operate at full potential.

This announcement follows a suite of women centric policies by Labor, including:

  • Scrap the wages cap.
  • Establish a new specialist multicultural domestic and family violence centre in South Western Sydney which will increase accessibility to services and safety for migrant and refugee women by providing holistic, well informed and culturally appropriate responses to domestic violence.
  • Double the funding of Women’s Health Centres. As 80% of their clientele have experienced domestic or family abuse these services are essential to supporting victim survivors in our community.
  • $923,000 a year to the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline to ensure they can continue to provide critical 24/7 state-wide specialist counselling services.
  • Introduce longer-term five-year funding arrangements for key community service providers, including Domestic Violence support services.
  • Invest in an expansion of Lifeline’s services with an additional commitment of $8.2 million over 5 years to increase text and webchat services. This will offer better support to women in domestic abuse circumstances who are unable to reach out over the phone.

NSW Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Sophie Cotsis, said: “Labor is committed to supporting women and families across New South Wales in order to increase female participation in the workforce.”


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