By Gabrielle Copp
Edited for online by Tobi Loftus
The Federal Government will partner with UnitingCare in a scheme to get non-working mothers back into paid employment.
From the beginning of July, families will no longer be able to claim the Family Tax Benefit Part B once their youngest child turns six – meaning women currently unemployed will be looking to return to the workforce.
In a new scheme to aid in this process, the community and aged-care sectors will employ new workers.
UnitingCare Australia national director Lin Hatfield Dodds says they are looking to identify cohorts of women who might have an interest in working in the community sector to offer them entry-level jobs as well as prospects for moving up the ladder.
“What we’re hoping is by creating sustainable pathways to employment and through employment like that we can help women lift themselves and their children out of poverty permanently,” Ms Dodds said.
If the pilot is successful, it will be rolled out around the nation within a year.
Health and Community Services Workforce Council acting CEO Julie Price says it is not only about getting women back into the workforce but identifying women who might be suited to particular roles in these sectors.
“We need compassionate people who understand the variety of situations that people across their lifespan find themselves in,” Ms Price said.
“Without the right attitudes and beliefs it’s not going to be high quality service delivery.”
Funding for the scheme will come out of the government’s $5 billion jobactive program.
Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Mark Henley says if the pilot is successful the program should look to broaden its scope to extend outside major metropolitan areas.
“We’d also love to see that there were opportunities to engage people in regional communities,” Mr Henley said.
“There are some of the areas with the lower family income and we see that is vitally important about providing people stronger financial independence into the future.”
The program is part of the G20 commitment to reduce the gap in workforce participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent by 2025.