Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the program would provide women with financial assistance and targeted support including mentoring, advice and training to help them return to the workforce.
“These grants will help women whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 to overcome some of the obstacles in returning to the workforce,” Ms 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.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said helping more women get back to work will not only provide a financial lifeline for them and their families, it will also boost the economy.
“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.
It is estimated that women make up 53 per cent of directly affected industries and 65 per cent of secondary industries impacted by the pandemic. These include accommodation and food services, retail, arts, and professional services.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the grants are available to all women who have been out of work for at least one month.
“There are so many costs involved in starting up again, so it is great that women looking to return to work will be able to use these grants towards things like training and education, office supplies, or whatever it is they need to get back into a job,” Mrs Taylor said.
“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.”
Eligible recipients will be given a Return to Work Coordinator to develop a plan, which will set out the resources that will assist them getting back in the workforce. They must be a resident of NSW and plan to start paid work within six months.
The Return to Work Program aligns with the NSW Women’s Strategy, which sets the NSW Government’s priorities for supporting women and girls, especially following times of crisis.