All Victorians must be rewarded equitably for their contribution in all aspects of society. Across their lifetimes, women face significant barriers to achieving economic security.
The Victorian Government is working hard to eliminate the persistent structural barriers that put women at a financial disadvantage. Recognising the value of unpaid care, as well as breaking down the stereotypes around the work men and women do and the career paths that they choose, are important steps to helping support women achieve greater economic security.
Creating high quality jobs is a focus of the Victorian Budget 2018/19. Every Victorian deserves the dignity and security of a good job and equal fair pay. Increasing female workforce participation has been a primary driver of Victoria’s overall growing participation rate, contributing 74% of the rise since June 2014. The female workforce participation rate was 60.1% in March 2018, up markedly from 58.3% in June 2014. However, the female participation rate is still too low and the gender pay gap remains.
The Budget’s significant investment in skills will continue to provide opportunities to grow female workforce participation and provide job opportunities for women in skilled roles across all sectors, including in traditionally male dominated sectors.
Increasing economic security is also a significant factor in family violence prevention – it allows greater choice when a woman has to leave a violent relationship. Economic security for women is critical for the equality of all Victorians.
To improve economic security for women, the Budget provides:
Increased funding for TAFE
Increased funding for TAFE to expand enrolments in training. In addition, we are making priority TAFE courses free, for eligible students, which will further support growth in the family violence workforce.
$28.6 million to expand the Tech Schools initiative which provides secondary students with access to high-quality, high-tech STEM learning programs. In addition to this universal access, many Tech schools will offer tailored programs targeted at female students to encourage their increased participation in physics, IT and specialist maths.
$5 million to boost jobs through better procurement. The Government will use its infrastructure investments and broader procurement activities to promote secure work and job opportunities for women.
$6 million for Jobs Victoria: increasing employment inclusion on Victoria’s major projects. New dedicated services will be established to connect young people from Aboriginal and migrant communities and women into jobs on Victoria’s major projects, including roles generated by the Major Projects Skills Guarantee.
Building Industry Consultative Council
$0.5 million to work with the Building Industry Consultative Council to increase the proportion of women working in the construction industry.