WITH today marking International Women’s Day, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the expansion of a successful employment partnership between the Government and UnitingCare Australia.
“The Government is proud to have developed an effective partnership with UnitingCare to deliver meaningful pre-employment training to women looking to engage in the workforce,” Mr Entsch said.
Over the past year, 31 women have participated in three pilot projects in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland with each pilot project achieving close to a 100 per cent completion rate.
“For many of the women, being out of work had impacted on their confidence, however the transformation from these pilot programs has been remarkable,” Mr Entsch said.
Due to the success of this partnership, the Government has committed $10 million over the next three to the new ‘Launch into Work’ program, which will commence later this year.
“The new program is designed to create new partnerships with Far Northern not-for-profits and businesses which are ready to invest in local women,” Mr Entsch said.
“Empowering women keeps our community strong and helps to make the economy more resilient. We want to see more women in the workforce so this is a key priority.”
The Government is also increasing its investment in child care and early learning. This will result in families being able to access child care to improve their employment opportunities, rather than limit their work hours to suit their childcare.
Families in Leichhardt earning $65,000 or less will have 85 per cent of their costs refunded and so will only pay around $15 a day. The $7,500 cap will also be abolished for families earning less than $185,000 and an hourly rate cap will be introduced, to curb fee increases.
“This additional child care investment will benefit around one million families and is targeted towards those working the longest hours, but earning the least,” Mr Entsch explained.
Together with the community, significant and lasting momentum has been built around ensuring women and children are safe from violence.
“As a proud White Ribbon Ambassador, addressing domestic violence is one of my priorities and has been at the forefront of the Government’s agenda since 2013,” Mr Entsch said.
“As a nation we have begun a difficult conversation that is nevertheless of critical importance to communities across the Far North, and Australia. Yet an enduring cultural shift will take time to achieve.
“Our $30 million national “Stop it at the Start” campaign has been an overwhelming success, with more than 37 million online views of the TV commercials.
“Our $100 million Women’s Safety package and the additional $100 million investment under the Third Action Plan is protecting women and children through expanded front line services and the delivery of new prevention strategies to drive cultural change.
“This International Women’s Day we should all reflect on how we can create a society in which women are respected, represented, have a strong voice, are financially secure, and are safe from violence.”