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Women looking for work will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund a new work wardrobe, technology and training to help them return to the workforce, thanks to a $32 million investment in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Premier Dominic Perrottet encouraged eligible women to apply for the Return to Work Program grant and tailored support from a Return to Work Coordinator.

“The program is already helping thousands of women to meet their employment and education goals - I want this program to support as many women as possible to find secure employment,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This is an opportunity to build the confidence and financial independence for women who need it most.”

Treasurer Matt Kean said women who are experiencing barriers re-entering the workforce can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help cover the cost of common financial obstacles such as work clothes or an internet connection.

“Female-dominated industries and workers were hit hard by the pandemic and it highlighted the importance of women to the long-term health of our economy,” Mr Kean said.

“Now, more than ever, we need to support women to get into, and return to, the workforce. This program helps equip women with the information, technology and financial support they need to get back to work.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the positive results of the program demonstrated the value of this investment.

“The feedback from over 1,500 women who have completed the program was that it works because of its flexibility and tailored approach. 65 per cent of women secured employment, 73 per cent applied for or started education and training while an incredible 98.5 per cent found the program helpful,”  Mrs Taylor said.

“I am proud to be part of a NSW Government that looks at unique solutions for the big issues affecting women’s workforce participation through the Women’s Economic Opportunities Review.”

The new Return to Work Toolkit is available on the NSW Government website to provide additional employment resources and information for women. For more information, or to apply, please visit the NSW Government website

The Return to Work program was initially announced as part of the 2020-21 NSW Budget in response to the number of women who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Return to Work Program will continue next financial year. Consideration will be provided to priority groups.

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