Labor to support women entering the NSW workforce
Labor will clear the way for 1000 women to enter the workforce as part of an effort to boost their representation in professional industries and plug NSW job shortages.
Building on a successful pilot by the federal Office for Women, the Future Women's Jobs Academy would support 1000 females across two years to become job-ready through an online resources hub, professional development, coaching and mentoring.
Zareena Banu is one of those hoping to jumpstart her career via the scheme.
After working in marketing and advertisement for over a decade, Ms Banu took time off to focus on her family life.
When the 52-year-old was ready to return to the workforce, no one would hire her on a permanent basis.
"Since coming back after I had kids, I've been playing catch up," she told AAP.
"Just trying to get back into the right job with my skills was a struggle and I don't know if it's because of gender, ethnicity or age.
"I just felt like I'd hit a wall and I didn't know what to do."
Though Ms Banu's family was able to support her while she wasn't working, she wants to be financially independent.
"My husband is great and he supports all of us but it's true you need a second income. The cost of living is going up."
Since joining the jobs academy, opportunities have opened up.
One organisation that ghosted her application finally responded to her after Future Women reached out to their network.
"It's a change enabler. They make magic happen," Ms Banu said.
Deputy Labor leader Prue Car said the promise was part of a $13.8 million package that includes $5.8 million for coaching and employer connections to get more women into work.
While the program will cast a wide net, it has set its sights on the tech industry which is notoriously desperate for workers, particularly females.
"We know women can face challenges when entering the workplace and today's announcement will go some way in breaking barriers down," Ms Car said.
Women's workforce participation has grown to 61.4 per cent under the coalition government but remains well below the men's rate of 70.9 per cent.
It has promised $70 million to boost female involvement in firefighting and construction and to support women in small business and entrepreneurship.
It's part of a $16.5 billion, 10-year package to create economic opportunities for women, predominantly focused on creating 47,000 additional affordable childcare places and 50,000 pre-kindergarten places on school sites by 2027.
Labor has committed to building 100 new pre-schools in four years, scrapping the wages cap for the public sector and doubling funding for women's health centres.
The Women's Electoral Lobby says NSW political parties and candidates can raise the bar by delivering on six key policy areas.
This includes a commitment to build social and affordable homes, doubling funding for women's health centres, increasing frontline domestic violence services staff and a free pre-kindergarten year.
The group's signature electoral scorecard tackling gender inequality will be released next week.