World / Asia-Pacific

Australian mums to be given jobs in new govt scheme

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-06 11:44

CANBERRA - Australian mothers finding it difficult to re-enter the workforce will be offered jobs in the community and aged-care sectors as part of a new government scheme unveiled on Wednesday.

The federal government will partner with not-for profit religious organization UnitingCare Australia for a pilot program in four capital cities from July, News Corp reported.

If successful, it will be expanded nationally from next year.

The scheme will be funded from the government's $3.95 billion jobactive program and see women receive training and support services before a guaranteed job with UnitingCare.

The coalition government's second budget is expected to have a strong focus on childcare and families after its first - full of cuts to low and middle income earners - was widely panned.

"Women who have spent most of their time caring for their kids will be able to use those caring skills in paid work," Lin Hatfield Dodds, UnitingCare Australia's national director, told News Corp.

"Caring roles aren't for everyone but this will provide some options to women who feel they have no skills... Our goal is to offer entry level jobs that have long-term prospects for career growth."

The program will help the quest to close the gap between male and female participation in the workforce by 25 percent by 2025.

In 2013-14, 61.7 percent of women were in paid employment compared to 74.4 percent of men. However, 43.4 percent of employed women were in part-time work, a proportion three times larger than employed men in part-time work.

Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said Australia was missing out on skills, talent and expertise because of the under- representation of women in the labor force.

"We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this under- utilized pool of labor to build the larger, more productive and skilled workforce our economy needs," Senator Cash said.

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