Victorian businesses could soon be given new reason to hire single parents through a scheme aimed to get the unemployed or underemployed back to work.
Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Tuesday morning, detailing how the scheme will address workforce shortages.
Some businesses will be given $20,000 to hire an unemployed or underemployed single parent as part of the Jobs Victoria Fund program.
Mr Andrews said the funds were needed after dramatic employment instability caused by the pandemic.
“Single parents work incredibly hard to provide for their families, and that’s why we’re doing what we can to help make things like finding a job that little bit easier,” he said.
“A job means more than just a pay cheque – it also means security, stability and a chance to build a life with those you love.”
The Premier, speaking on International Women’s Day, described how more than 80 per cent of primary single parents in the state are women.
“This is about gender equity. It’s about supporting women through some of the most challenging times,” he said.
The Jobs Victoria Fund helped create almost 4000 jobs for people whose work is affected by the pandemic, with more than 60 per cent of these taken up by women.
The scheme comes after the state government announced $1 million in funding for leadership programs aimed to address structural, gender-based barriers to leadership roles.
Among the initiatives on offer are scholarships for rural women to join leadership forums and schemes to provide culturally safe and community led training for Indigenous women.
Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said more needed to be done to aid Victorian women progress through the career ranks.
“Systemic barriers continue to stand in the way of the career progression of many women,” she said.
“Women have long been missing from key decision-making tables. By improving the representation of women in leadership, we’re ensuring that our institutions better reflect the diversity of our communities.”