Meeting the challenge
There are many reasons women become disconnected from the workforce: Because they are mothers or carers, because of family violence, and due to divorce, chronic disease and relocation.
Whatever the cause, the costs are high. Women who have become disconnected from the workforce face poverty, homelessness and despair – and so do their children and other dependents.
Research has shown that to get back into the workforce, women need three things:
To reskill through TAFE training that is free, close to home and aligned to the local job market
Jobs that are safe and properly paid
To support and be supported by women in their community with shared lived experience.
Through The Placement Circle, WomenCAN Australia acts at each of these three levels.
The Placement Circle model is being piloted at TAFEs in Dandenong, Footscray, Bendigo and Shepparton, where our first circles of women are commencing or completing their Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care).
Victoria University academics are evaluating the model through these pilots. Their interim report will be released in March 2021 and will inform program refinements.
The Placement Circle will then be expanded to other sites around Victoria and nationally, connecting women to TAFE training in high labour-demand industries including Trades, Cybersecurity, Commercial Cookery and Transport.